Saturday, 30 June 2007

A Sister's Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter and Giveaway!

Everything is going well for Grace: a loving family, a waitress job, and a wedding on the way. But when Gary Walker comes to her Amish community, Grace's secret threatens to destroy everything she holds dear. Grace is ashamed of her running-around years (rumschpringe), and has kept it hush-hush since returning to join the Amish church.

Gary shows up as a freelance photographer and writer, but he is capable of much more. Not only does he know some of Grace's secret, he is part of it. As a contrast to Gary's evil ways, fiance' Cleon Schrock is filled with all things good. Does Grace have the strength to reveal her secret?

Compounding the situation are the unusual pranks gone too far in hurting the Hostettler family. Is Gary to blame, or is someone upset with Grace's father? Why is it easier to turn the other cheek for strangers than for your own kin?

~~~

book cover

A Sister's Secret

Wanda E. Brunstetter

ISBN: 978-1-59789-226-1

$9.97

On shelves July 1, 2007

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Wanda E. Brunstetter is a nationally recognized expert on the Amish community. Last autumn her Amish-themed book sales surpassed the million mark, bringing her total of books sold to 1.6 million. She enjoys an uncommon kinship with the Amish community. Letters from all over the country arrive from her Amish readers, and she's been told her books are passed "from buggy to buggy." Wanda's books have received various honors including the 2006 Retailers Choice Award and Christian Book Distributor's Book of the Week, as well as topping the charts of the Christian Booksellers Association and CDA.

Author is available for interview.


author photo
Author, Wanda E. Brunstetter

Welcome, Wanda E. Brunstetter, to our interview today. Let's chat!

Where did you birth the idea for A Sister's Secret? When? How did it come about?

Sometime ago, I read about some Amish people in Pennsylvania who had suffered a senseless attack, and it made me wonder how they dealt with it, and how it must have made them feel to be unjustly attacked. I decided to use that as a focus for this series and show my readers what true forgiveness is all about.

If your book was turned into a movie, who would play the main characters?

I would pray that whoever was chosen to play the main character would be a person of integrity. Also, it should be someone who respects the Amish way of life.

Which character do you most relate to, and why?

I think there are elements of all my characters that I can relate to on some level. Just like in life, it's not all that difficult to put yourself in someone else's shoes and relate to what they are going through.

What sort of research was involved in writing A Sister's Secret?

I visited Holmes County, Ohio several times before the idea came to me to set a series of books there. I also have spent many hours with Amish friends who live in that area, which helped me understand them better, but also gave me a good understanding of the lay of the land.

Tell us a little more about the series of books that starts with A Sister's Secret. Why did you choose this county for the setting of this series?

I chose Holmes County because my husband and I have visited there several times and we've come to appreciate the beauty of the area, as well as come to know and love many wonderful Amish and English people who live there. I wanted to tell a story of love and forgiveness, and show the reader that despite anything in our past, God forgives and can use us to His glory.

What takeaway points do you hope the reader pulls from A Sister's Secret?

Secrets from the past can sometimes be painful when the truth is revealed. Harboring resentment toward someone who has wronged you can only bring anguish. True forgiveness brings peace to the soul.

How do you deal with your other obligations (family, church, etc.) when it's crunch time near deadlines?

I sometimes have to let everything but my writing go, and with the help of my husband, I'm able to do that whenever necessary.

What's your favorite writer's block trick?

I take a shower. Ideas always seem to flow well under running water.

What book are you reading now?
I'm reading Freedom of the Soul by Tracey Bateman. It's Book 2 in the Penbrook series, and I highly recommend it.

What's your favorite worship song, and why?

"They that Wait Upon the Lord," because I know from past experience that it's sometimes necessary to wait for God's answers, and that His timing is always best.

What do you crave (beverage or food) when you have writer's stress?

A big bowl of fresh strawberries drenched with maple-flavored yogurt.

Can you share something with our readers about what God has been teaching you lately?

After spending time with some of our Amish friends recently, I was reminded of the importance of taking time out every day to enjoy all the beauty God has made for us, and to keep my focus on God and my precious family, not the "things" of the world.


Why do you think readers have an interest in the Amish/Mennonite way of life?

In this hectic world we live in, our souls cry out for simplicity. I believe many people are searching for ways to simplify their lives and put their focus on the important things in life, not on material things. Reading about the Amish and Mennonites, who don't put an emphasis on worldly things, helps others to be able to do that, too.


What does the Amish community think about your writings?

The Amish I know personally have told me that they enjoy reading my novels. I've had many Amish people who attended my book signings tell me that they appreciate the way I portray them.

Thank you, Wanda, for visiting with us today. I can't wait to read the next book in Holmes County Series.


I have a copy of A Sister's Secret to give away ~ all my readers are welcome to enter so leave a post before midnight on Thursday 5th July, 2007 and you will be in the draw!



Thursday, 28 June 2007

Christian Fiction Challenge ~ The Restitution by MaryLu Tyndall

1. Title

The Restitution

2. Author

MaryLu Tyndall

3. Copyright

August, 2007

4. How long was the book languishing in your TBR pile?

Overnight!

5. What made you buy/borrow the book in the first place?

Galley copy given to me to review for TitleTrakk.com

6. What were your thoughts on the story?

Can't give away too much here yet but in a nutshell ~ excellent adventure and romance!

7. Now do you wish you read the book sooner?

Now you are asking the impossible!

8. Any questions/statements for the author?

When is your next book coming out? And how on earth did you manage to get a story to work between the main characters with their dreadful history? For those who have read The Reliance you will know what I mean!!

9. Where will the book reside now?

On the floor (too big for the bookshelf!) until I get a final copy and then on my bookshelf until the borrowers demand it!!


10. Go kiss a dad. Your relative or husband!


My husband? ~ with pleasure ;-)

If you read a book by the beach, pool, or tub: did you at least RELAX?? I hope so.

Well, does reading it in bed until the wee hours of the morning count as relaxing? Couldn't put it down - hehe!

Check out MaryLu's book trailer below:~


Blast from the Past ~ Legend of the Emerald Rose by Linda Wichman

As a young boy Shadoe un Hollo Tors' life is shattered by the death of King Arthur and Guenevere to whom he was devoted. Together with the betrayal perpetrated by his father, Merlin and the loss of Camelot, his faith in God lays in tatters. After suffering torture at the hands of the evil Mordred, Shadoe flees to the Continent and into the life of a mercenary.

Ignorant of her true heritage, Emerald Rose Rayn has been raised by Lancelot, in the ways of a warrior and not of a princess. Her mentor and friend, Mer, leaves her bereft when he dies but with a promise that her knight and godsend will come and to her alone will give his heart.

A dream steeped in reality draws a reluctant Shadoe, with his stallion Destrier and his wolf Echo, back to his childhood home and into the path of the independent and vivacious Rayn, who both enchants and infuriates him. Shadoe's destiny is to appoint the rightful heir to Arthur's empty throne but he fights the memory of his father and the trauma of his past. Rayn's faith is both a blessing and a challenge to him but it will not go untested as the heir to the throne of Camelot is challenged by Shadoe's cousin and nemesis, Mordred and as his evil mother, Morgause summons the powers of darkness to secure his victory.

It is no surprise that Legend of the Emerald Rose was the ACFW Book of the Year in 2005 and nominated for a Christy award in 2006. Linda Wichman has penned an epic tale of lore, loyalty and love and I was still completely enthralled when reading it for the third time for this review!

Shadoe is a man of integrity and courage mixed with the vulnerability of a young boy traumatised by the loss of those he loved. Rayn is delightful as she transforms from a warrior waif into the regal princess she is, fighting it all the way. The attraction between the two is spirited and sparks fly with every interaction. Linda is not shy about revealing their true feelings which makes for an authentic read. Needless to say Linda does not restrict her excellent character development to the main protagonists. Merlin, Lancelot, Mordred and Niamh, Shadoe's estranged mother, are beautifully portrayed and you are transported to the shores of Camelot and the time of knights and maidens when the fight between good and evil was a noble and vital quest.

This book would rate as one of my all time favourites and I would love to see a sequel. That being said I would read anything that Linda produces in the future.

Legend of the Emerald Rose was published in 2005 by Kregel and is still available for purchase at Amazon, CBD and Koorong (Australia).

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

CFBA Blog Tour of The Divine Appointment by Jerome Teel

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

THE DIVINE APPOINTMENT
(Howard Books June 5, 2007)
by

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jerome Teel is a graduate of Union University, where he received his JD, cum laude, from the Ole Miss School of Law. He is actively involved in his church, local charities, and youth sports.

He has always loved legal-suspense novels and is a political junkie. He is also the author of The Election, another political thriller that we reviewed November of '06.

Jerome and his wife, Jennifer, have three children...Brittney, Trey, and Matthew...and they reside in Tennessee where he practices law and is at work on a new novel.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

"They aren't hiding just one something, but a bunch of somethings..."


Small town southern lawyer, Elijah Faulkner is a dying breed...an attorney that actually takes pleasure in fighting injustice by working hard for the little guy. But when he takes on a case to defend a philandering doctor with a pregnant wife in a seemingly open-and-shut murder trial, Eli is not so sure he is on the 'right' side.

Back in Washington D.C., supreme Court Justice Martha Robinson has died, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for conservative President Richard Wallace to impact the direction of the highest court in the land. He believes God put him in the presidency for just such a time as this...to make a Divine Appointment. Not everyone is thrilled with the president's nominee, however. And some will stop at nothing, including murder, to prevent his confirmation by the Senate.

A lobbyist with a vendetta, a small-time Mafioso, an investigative reporter with a Watergate complex, and a powerful Washington political machine combine to create a fast-paced suspense novel that explores the anatomy of a murder, and the ripple effect that it creates across the country.

"Jerome Teel has crafted an intriguing political thriller...nice twists and turns to keep you reading. he paints vivid mental pictures that bring characters and locales to life."
--Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee's 7th District




I was enthralled by Jerome's story ~ my review will be at Titletrakk.com soon!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Military Suspense Book Giveaways ~ Aussie readers only


I have two wonderful books to give away this week:~

Frasier Island by Susan Page Davis ~ for my review, click here.

Island Inferno by Chuck Holton ~ for my review, click here.

Please post a comment to enter the draw for these books by midnight, Sunday 1st July, 2007. I will draw a winner for each book.

Apologies to my international readers ~ I will have more giveaways for you all soon :)

Monday, 25 June 2007

What Happens When I Talk to God? by Stormie Omartian

I know this doesn't look like fiction - that is because it isn't! I have made an exception to my fiction only rule :)

Stormie Omartian has authored this wonderful book teaching kids about God and what happens when they talk to Him through prayer. My three daughters aged 9,6 and 3 love it and the reminders of God's love and His listening ear have been good for Mum and Dad too!

The illustrations by Shari Warren are enchanting. It is a beautiful book with a powerful message which children of all ages will grasp and it makes a lovely gift to treasure.

What Happens When I Talk to God? is in stores now from Harvest House.

All The Tea in China by Jane Orcutt


Publicly slighted by her so called friends in English society in Oxford, Isabella Goodrich is so humiliated that stowing away with the livestock on a ship bound for China, is her preferred option!

Phineas Snowe, the mysterious missionary Isabella hopes to join evangelising the lost, is horrified when Isabella is found, delirious, weakened and in a very odorous state. He devises a plan to protect Isabella with every intention of hoisting her off the ship at the next port. Isabella's journey is filled with intrigue, swordplay, danger and language lessons but can she prove to Phineas that God's plan for her lies in the beauty of the Orient?

Jane Orcutt's final novel, published posthumously, is delightful and its description as a Rollicking Regency is perfect. Isabella is an endearing character, well educated yet naive, adept in swordplay but not in social scheming, funny and devoted. Jane has cleverly drawn Phineas, flawed and unappealing yet as his desire to serve the people of China and God is revealed, the reader is drawn to his passionate and caring heart. The dialogue is snappy and fun, the scenery and culture beautifully described and the message of love and forgiveness is gentle and reassuring. All The Tea in China will not disappoint but if you need a further reason to buy this wonderful book, all proceeds will be assisting Jane's husband and sons as they come to terms with the loss of Jane, a loving wife and mother and one very talented author.

I have read the following books of Jane's and can highly recommend them all:~

Dear Baby Girl (also published as Lullaby)
The Fugitive Heart (Heart's True Desire Series #1)
The Hidden Heart (Heart's True Desire Series #2)
The Living Stone
Porch Swings and Picket Fences (Compilation)
Restoration and Romance (Compilation)

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Faith Thomas Novelzine ~ God Can Work It Out by Stephanie Perry Moore

Faith Thomas is a normal year eight student with problems like everyone else - family dramas, being made to hang with the new girl and having trouble with friends. On top of all that there are cheerleading difficulties.

This isn’t what everyone thinks. People think Faith does nothing wrong and has no problems because her dad is a Christian artist, she has a loving home with a caring family, she’s athletic and gets good grades.


Faith has even tried praying about her struggles and wants to find out whether God is really paying attention or whether He just can’t be bothered.


God Can Work It Out, the first issue in The Faith Thomas Series, is an outstanding novel but within a magazine. Novelzines are great especially for Christians who like to read books but prefer magazines.


It is fantastic to read a story that has colour pictures in it that relate to what has just happened or is happening. The blogs and scriptures are a great way to find out about God and to hear His word.


The novel itself was fabulous, it shows us that bad things can happen to anyone even if it appears they have it all together. This novelzine actually makes you realise that these things could even happen to you and that you need to be prepared for anything.


Authored by Stephanie Perry Moore and published by Harvest House, January, 2007.


Young Adult Fiction Guest Reviewer: Chloe~Anne

Friday, 22 June 2007

Spring Reading Thing Wrap Up

What was the best book you read this spring?
From my list ~ Autumn Blue

What book could you have done without? Nup ~ all good!

Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again?


Annette Smith and definitely :)


If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it?

Ran out of time! See below for reason why!!!!


Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?


No, too busy trying to scramble through mine!

What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share!

Just confirmed how much I love a great book :)


What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing?


Reading!


Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall?


Yes!

Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments.


Next time I will need to revise my list as the reason I didn't finish all on my list was because I kept reading others that weren't on it. For example, I read during this time:~

All the Tea in China by Jane Orcutt
Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin
See No Evil by Gayle Roper
Simple Gifts by Lori Copeland
The Restorer by Sharon Hinck
Diva NashVegas by Rachel Hauck
Veil of Fire by Marlo Schalesky
Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury
Snitch by Rene Gutteridge..........and I could go on - LOL!!!

Thanks Katrina - it was fun! Hope you get a chance to drop by this time ;-)

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

CFBA Blog Tour of Reluctant Runaway by Jill Elizabeth Nelson


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

RELUCTANT RUNAWAY

(Multnomah, March 2007)

by


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jill Elizabeth Nelson is a member of the CFBA. Her blog, Artistic Blogger, addresses issues about art, art theft, antiquities preservation, and the art of fiction writing. She takes art seriously - when she's not having fun with it, that is. The To Catch a Thief Series combines her love of the written word with her love of other art forms.

The first in the series was Reluctant Burglar , second is Reluctant Runaway. In January 2008, she will reveal the third book, Reluctant Smuggler. Jill is thrilled if the adventures that spill from her imagination can raise awareness about art theft - deemed "a looming criminal enterprise" by the FBI. Jill and her husband, Doug, have four children and live in Minnesota.

ABOUT THE BOOK:


Stolen Indian artifacts...A murdered museum guard



A missing woman…A baby in danger…


Only Desiree can unearth the horrifying secret that links them all.

Museum security expert Desiree Jacobs doesn’t mean to get in danger’s path. Really she doesn’t. But when a friend is in trouble you don’t just walk away. No matter what your overprotective FBI agent boyfriend says! So when Desi and Tony’s date at a presidential ball is interrupted by a frantic Maxine Webb, Desi doesn’t hesitate to jump in.

Soon Desi is neck-deep in a confusing array of villains. Did Max’s niece run away or was she taken? Is she still alive or the victim of a perverse ritual? And who wants her infant son–and why?

Then Tony’s organized crime case collides with Desi’s investigation, throwing them both into the path of something dark and sinister. Something that craves blood...

From the streets of Desi’s beloved Boston to the mountain desert of New Mexico, Desi and Tony must rely on God to thwart unseen forces–and save a young woman and her baby from a villain more evil than any of them can imagine.

"A fresh voice, strong heroine, and unique plot make Reluctant Runaway a can't-put-down read. Jill Elizabeth Nelson is an author to watch in the realm of romantic suspense!"
----SUSAN MAY WARREN award-winning author of In Sheep's Clothing


Read my review of Reluctant Runaway, here!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin

When a 1972 Chevrolet Impala takes on the train known as the Silver Meteor, the outcome is a forgone conclusion. But no one expected a little boy, mute and with an unknown identity would survive and create his own whirlwind of emotion.

Chase Walker, newspaper journalist is sent by his editor to write the story about the child for the Brunswick Daily. Chase feels an immediate connection with the boy whose predicament mirrors his own traumatic childhood. Chase names him Sketch after seeing his prodigious talent for drawing.

A dark secret flavours the town of Brunswick, a story that involves Chase's foster father, Unc, Unc's wealthy and powerful brother, Silas Jackson "Jack" McFarland and Tommye, Jack's beautiful yet broken daughter and Chase's kindred spirit.

Chase and Sketch's journey of discovery has begun!

Charles Martin touched my soul with his book of the heart, When Cricket's Cry. With Chasing Fireflies he has awakened hope and joy. Charles' prose is exceptional and his characters connected with my emotions in ways few authors can achieve. This is a beautiful story of one man's journey for his identity, a boy's ability to communicate without words and the honour and integrity of a man willing to make a lifelong sacrifice for those he loves. Charles' books are in a league of their own and this hardcover novel is well worth the extra investment.

Snitch by Rene Gutteridge

Snitch follows on from the highly successful first Occupational Hazard instalment, Scoop which tell the stories of the orphaned Hazard siblings and their attempts at building a career away from the family clowning business.

Mackenzie "Mack" Hazard has yearned to do undercover work and when the opportunity arises to work with Sergeant Ron Yeager on an auto theft task force, she jumps at the chance. Ideologies, faith and personalities collide as the task force find themselves in an operation where the stakes are higher than this rookie cop and her eclectic colleagues can fathom.

Rene Gutteridge is well know for her witty dialogue, strange yet loveable characters and Snitch fulfills those trademarks with ease. The storyline moves along at a fast clip and the characters foibles are quickly exposed giving the reader a fun and entertaining read. Mack's interactions with the tough yet superstitious cop, Jesse Lunden and the naive and dedicated Pastor Kyle provide most of the hilarity. Rene continues to smoothly weave spiritual truths into her tale and I look forward to the ongoing sagas of the unique Hazard family.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Donna Fleisher's Book Trailer



Check it out and buy the books ~ they are just as good :)

Murder, Mayhem and a Fine Man by Claudia Mair Burney

Amanda Bell Brown doesn't anticipate finding herself at a crime scene the night of her fortieth birthday nor the humiliation of a sensitive stomach in front of the very attractive lead detective!

Amanda's credentials as a forensic psychologist draw her in to the murder investigation, which becomes more twisted as it progresses. When Amanda's past begins to rear its ugly head, she is fearful she may lose the love of a fine man and mayhem will ultimately reign supreme.

Claudia Mair Burney surprised me with this novel. The humour and dialogue is fast and furious but between its chick-lit cover lies a deep and dark tale of a woman's desperate resolve to battle demons from her past she hoped and prayed had been banished forever. Amanda is a sassy and appealing character with a great depth of spirit and Jazz, the gorgeous detective, struggles with his own deep seated fears. This book is traumatic in parts and deeply moving. If you enjoy your chick-lit with profound spiritual and relational insights then I suggest you order this book when it is re released by
Simon & Schuster in February, 2008 and its sequel, Death, Deceit and Some Smooth Jazz in April, 2008.

Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury

The Baxter Family, Dayne Matthews and his fiancee, Katy Hart are back in Sunrise, the first book in Karen Kingsbury's new series, following on from her Redemption and Firstborn Series.

Dayne and Katy are planning their wedding and revelling in the relative obscurity living in Bloomington offers, as they seek to hide the plans for their big day from the paparazzi. The realisation Dayne still be required to film romantic scenes in his movies with other actresses places pressure on their relationship until Dayne comes up with a solution which has the power to either strengthen their relationship or destroy it.

The Flanigan family, comprising of parents Jim, Jenny and their five children, three of them adopted from Haiti, take a more prominent role in this series. The family is shattered when Cody Coleman, their boarder and a key player for Jim's Clear Creek High football team, falls into a coma after a drinking binge. Despite his young age, Cody's battle with alcoholism was a well known fact when the Flanigans welcomed him in to their home but his relapse is devastating. Jim is even more dismayed when he discovers the majority of his players have been drinking heavily and partying hard in recent months. Will the team and the younger Flanigan's learn from Cody's tragic behaviour or is worse yet to come?

Karen Kingsbury's legion of fans will no doubt be enthralled by the ongoing saga of the Baxters and the new focus on the Flanigans and the particular issues they face as parents to young teens. Sunrise addresses the important topic of alcohol abuse and some of its tragic consequences. Bailey, the only daughter of the Flanigans, is set to become a major character in subsequent books as she starts her journey towards womanhood, experiencing attraction to young men and starts learning about judging character and how her choices now can impact her future.

True to form, Kingsbury packs a powerful message between the pages of her book and the reader rides the waves of emotions her stories bring. The predictability of storyline outcomes and the unattainable perfection of a few of her characters is somewhat disappointing as we enter the third series revolving around the Baxter clan. Despite this, there is no doubt that a Karen Kingsbury book will provide a beautiful message of God's love, the importance of a strong and loving family and will not shy away from confronting the difficult issues parents and their children face in today's world - Sunrise is no exception and for that Karen should be applauded. Once again Karen sets the stage for the sequels, the ongoing stories outlined in Sunrise, which will keep readers highly anticipating each release. I recommend reading the Redemption and Firstborn books prior to Sunrise otherwise the reader risks confusion and
won't fully appreciate the depth of history each character has.

The winner of The Divine Appointment is...


Davo - congratulations!

I have forwarded your details and your book will be on its way soon!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

CFBA Blog Tour of As I Have Loved You by Nikki Arana


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

As I Have Loved You
(Revell June 1, 2007)

by



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Nikki Arana is an award-winning author of highly-acclaimed inspirational women's fiction who weaves today's social, political, and spiritual issues into her novels. She has received numerous awards, including the Excellence in Media 2007 Silver Angel Award for The Winds of Sonoma.

The book was based on the true love story of how Nikki met her future husband Antonio as he was cleaning the stalls of her parents' Arabian horses. Nikki and Antonio have been married for over thirty years, have two grown sons, and live in Idaho.





ABOUT THE BOOK:


Contemporary Struggles...

...A Single Mom and College-Aged Son.

Leigh Scott is a widowed, single mother who wants the best for her son Jeff. She would like him to graduate from college, land a secure job, and start a family. However, Jeff, who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) at a young age, has a God-given compassion for people. And his non-judgemental acceptance of all has unintended consequences.

Jeff starts dating Jessica, a girl with a questionable past and seemingly non-existent future. Soon, Jeff's grades drop as quickly as his sober determination to achieve the goals he's worked toward all his life, and Leigh finds herself caught ina relational tornado

To complicate matters further, Leigh is an author with a looming book deadline, a father battling cancer, and her former boyfriend and first love, a strong Christian Native American, coming back in her life.

Arana weaves a multi-layered, emotional family saga that brings the peril of judgement, the need for forgiveness and the gift of love to light.

"Nikki Arana wrings the heart and exalts the soul."

---Romantic Times

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Diva NashVegas by Rachel Hauck

Like to get in to the mind of a country music superstar? Rachel Hauck lets you do just that in her witty and engaging novel, Diva NashVegas.

Inside NashVegas, a local television show, snares a sure ratings winner ~ the as yet untold story of the notoriously famous, yet equally private, Aubrey James. When a vindictive former band member dishes the dirt on Aubrey's personal life to the international press, Aubrey's management convinces her to open up to Inside Nash Vegas interviewer, Scott Vaughan ~ a man more comfortable with baseball bats than guitars, and the baggage of a disastrous once only date with the diva herself!

While her fans hope for a glimpse into what makes Aubrey James tick, Scott's questions initiate her own quest of self discovery and a journey towards healing, love and redemption.

Rachel Hauck's vibrant, imperfect and captivating characters make this novel so wonderfully entertaining. Aubrey is brash, confident and all that makes a true diva yet Rachel has infused her with a vulnerability that makes her real. From her fiancee to her manager, best friend and step-mum, all the characters have substance and I found their quirks and the roles they play in Aubrey's life downright fascinating! The novel is interspersed with the interviews between Scott and Aubrey and rather than being a distraction, they provide authenticity and interest, very effectively revealing the inner Aubrey. Thankfully Rachel does not shy away from the many pitfalls of a celebrity life nor does she compromise the message of God's forgiveness. Diva NashVegas is a unique look at the country music world as well as a fascinating character study, overflowing with great banter, genuine characters and true joy.

Jerome Teel and The Divine Appointment with Giveaway!

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES?

New Legal Thriller Mirrors High Court Drama

In The Divine Appointment, Supreme Court Justice Martha Robinson has died, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for conservative president, Richard Wallace, to impact the direction of the highest court in the land for years to come. The Supreme Court has the power to interpret the Constitution, and in the process, to shape the nation. Not everyone is thrilled with the president's nominee, however. And some will stop at nothing, including murder, to prevent his confirmation by the Senate.

Advance praise for The Divine Appointment:

"...a powerful, fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat suspense novel that makes plenty of promises, and delivers." - Phillip Tomasso In The Library Reviews

"Jerome Teel writes a totally awesome and exciting political thriller that shows how low and dirty politics and its players can get." - Harriet Klausner, Amazon's #1 Reviewer

"The Divine Appointment is a masterful story of political intrigue." - Helen Jones, BuddyHollywood.com

author photo
Author, Jerome Teel

Jerome Teel received his law degree from the University of Mississippi where he graduated Cum Laude. He now practices full-time as an attorney in Jackson, Tennessee. The Divine Appointment is his second novel.


book cover

The Divine Appointment

By Jerome Teel

Howard Books

ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-4338-1

Retail: $13.00

Available in bookstores

and online

Interview with the Author:

1. Who is the target audience for The Divine Appointment?

The audience is wide and I believe The Divine Appointment can reach different segments of the Christian community. Specifically, though, I think the target audience is politically active Christians such as members of Christian Alliance organizations, Right to Life Organizations, American Family Association, etc.

2. How do you describe your genre for this book?


Christian fiction political thriller.

3. Where/How did you birth the idea for this book? How did it come about?

The idea for this book was two-fold. First I think that Roe v. Wade was a very bad decision and it should be reversed. Secondly, the appointment and confirmation processes for Justice Roberts and Justice Alito were very intriguing and I wondered what it would be like if there was a true conservative, Christian jurist going through that process who would openly say that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. I found that concept very intriguing and turned it into a storyline.

4. What sort of research was involved to make The Divine Appointment sound authentic/realistic?

I researched the Washington D.C. geography to make sure I had names of buildings and streets accurate. Google Earth is an amazing tool. The legal aspects of the book and the courtroom scenes come from my many years of experience as an attorney.

5. What takeaway points do you hope the reader pulls from this book?

I hope that readers will realize that it is important for Christians to be part of the political process.

6. Is The Divine Appointment part of a series?

It is not designed as a series yet. However, like The Election there could be follow-up books that would track some of the characters.


7. How do you deal with your other obligations (job, family, church, etc.) when it's crunch time near deadlines?

This is one of my most difficult tasks. I'm a partner in a law firm and that is a full-time job. Part of my practice is that I represent the local county government, which at times is very consuming. Currently I am helping coach three separate baseball teams. I am the incoming board president for a local charity. I teach a high school boys' Sunday School. And our family life is extremely busy. As you can see, there are very few unoccupied minutes in my life. When I'm working on a writing project my writing time is very late at night--typically from 10:00 p.m. to about 1:00 a.m. When a deadline is rapidly approaching I have to take time away from the office and stay at home until I'm able to get the project completed.

8. Do you plan character development and then let them run with the story, or do you plot the story in advance?

I don't know how unique my writing style is but I cannot write from an outline. The first thing that happens is that I see the beginning of a story and the end of the story, and then I begin to write. I outline as I go along and I keep a timeline. The characters begin to take on lives of their own and lead me through the story. When I get to about 30,000 words I begin to fully see the story unfold. It is at that point that I make a few notes about the direction of the book and it is all I can do to write fast enough to complete the manuscript.

9. Do you have an organized office and set times to write, or do you find yourself writing at unusual times or places?

I write at unusual times--typically very late at night. But the place is always the same. I have a study in my house and I do all of my writing there.

Thanks, Jerome, for giving us a glimpse at your life as a writer, and why you wrote The Divine Appointment.


Post a comment for your chance to win a copy of The Divine Appointment ~ all readers welcome to enter with the draw closing at midnight on Sunday 17th June, 2007.


CFBA Blog Tour of Diva NashVegas by Rachel Hauck



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

DIVA NASHVEGAS

(Thomas Nelson May 8, 2007)

by



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Rachel is the author of many books. Her current release, Diva NashVegas is the second in a series which began with Lost in NashVegas. She is also a Blogger and a CFBA member! She lives in Florida with her husband. Visit her great profile and learn more.


ABOUT THE BOOK:



Even if you are not a lover of country music, you can enjoy this fun look at the Nashville entertainment industry.

What do you do when the past you’ve been skirting shows up at your door with cameras rolling?

Aubrey James ruled the charts as the queen of country for over a decade. She’d rocketed to fame in the shadow of her parents’ death-both of them pioneers in Gospel music. But while her public life, high profile romances, and fights with Music Row execs made for juicy tabloid headlines, the real and private Aubrey has remained a media mystery.

When a former band member betrays Aubrey’s trust and sells an "exclusive" to a tabloid, the star knows she must go public with her story. But Aubrey’s private world is rocked when the Inside NashVegas interviewer is someone from her past-someone she’d hoped to forget.

All the moxie in the world won’t let this Diva run any longer.

"Hauck once again takes us into the country music world, this time through the experiences of mega-star Aubrey James. Aubrey's life journey is filled with flaws, as well as a great deal of joy, and real life locales makes this highly original story authentic. The extra tidbits - from Aubrey's liner notes to quotes from the "media" at the beginning of the chapters - add extra sparkle to the plot."

- 4 Stars, Melissa Parcel, Romantic Times Book Club


Loved this one! My review will be up in the next day or so ~ Rel

Friday, 8 June 2007

Veil of Fire by Marlo Schalesky

In 1894, the town of Hinckley, Minnesota was forever changed by a rampaging fire that struck without warning. Marlo Schalesky weaves a compelling and moving story around that tragic historical event, with tenderness and lyrical artistry.

Josef, Ellie,
Lars and Arla's lives take a twist they never thought possible when the Hinckley conflagration consumes buildings, stock and people indiscriminately. Fear, pain, hope and love all rise up from the ashes as they wonder how to move on. God's faithfulness and protection is called into question by some, while others cling to their faith in the face of such tragedy.

As the community attempts to restore their lives, another is hoping a dark and sinister secret has been laid to rest underneath the blackened landscape.

The impact of Veil of Fire is lasting and heartfelt. That the fire actually took place, killing 418 people in four hours, contributes to the book's punch but no less is Marlo's beautiful abilities as a wordsmith. She has crafted a tale that engages the heart with her appealing and compelling characters and activates the mind with a mystery that remains satisfyingly unresolved until the final chapter. I was so impressed with this novel that I have nominated it for my book club to read later this year!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Book giveaways galore!

My lovely blogging friends, Cee Cee and Deborah are running great giveaways of some of the recent books you have seen on my blog! So if you didn't win with me check out their blogs for a second chance!

Click on Cee Cee's Book Splurge and Deborah's books, movies and chinese food for your chance to win :)

Take the time to look around their blogs too - it is worth it!

CFBA Blog Tour of These Boots Weren't Made for Walking by Melody Carlson


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

These Boots Weren't Made for Walking

(WATERBROOK Press June 19, 2007)
by

Melody Carlson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Melody Carlson has published over 100 books for adults, children, and teens, including On This Day, Finding Alice, the Notes from a Spinning Planet series, and Homeward, which won the Rita Award from Romance Writers of America. She and her husband, the parents of two grown sons, make their home near the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon. Melody is a full-time writer as well as an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.





ABOUT THE BOOK:

Willing to make the necessary sacrifices–even skipping the occasional latte–to ensure career success, 31-year-old Cassidy Cantrell "invests" in a chic pair of boots, certain they’ll make a spectacular impression and help seal the deal on a long-anticipated promotion from her Seattle employer.

But reality tromps all over her expectations. Cassie’s job is abruptly eliminated–and her love life obliterated, when her longtime boyfriend dumps her for a "friend." Her self-esteem in tatters, Cassie limps home to the resort town she once so eagerly fled–only to find her recently divorced mother transformed into a gorgeous fifty-something babe with a thriving social life. Cassie wrestles with envy and apathy as she considers the dismal shape of her own physique and romantic prospects. What will it take for her to jump back into life and regain her stride?

This sassy and hilarious novel leads readers on a romp through the wilds of relationships, romance, career, and spirituality, revealing that, while God’s plans may look drastically different than our own, it’ll always be a perfect fit.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Let's support Jane Orcutt's family

All The Tea In China, A Regency Romance by Jane Orcutt

Jane Orcutt passed away on March 17th, 2007 after a long battle with leukamia. Her last book All the Tea in China has just released and all proceeds will go to support Jane's husband and two teenage sons.

I have enjoyed many of Jane's books over the years ~ she has a beautiful writing style.

Check out the Jane Orcutt website here for more details.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Return of the Guardian King by Karen Hancock

Return of the Guardian King marks the journey's end for Abramm Kalladorne, Kiriath, Chesedh and Eidon's Light and what an epic pilgrimage it has been!

Presumed dead by his followers and family alike, Abramm has escaped to the winter wasteland of Caerna'tha with a small band of exiles who believe him to be a fellow commoner by the name of Alaric. Abramm is desperate to return to his beloved wife, Maddie, who is alone in her hope that Abramm and her sons are alive. Fierce storms, the evil Tapheina and even Eidon himself seem determined to keep them apart.

The seed of hope buried deep in Maddie's heart that Abramm is coming home is slowly dying with the appealing Draek Tiris courting her and her family and even dear friend, Trap Meridon encouraging her to wed and protect her crown.

Trap has troubles of his own that threaten his once grounded faith and put at risk his career and eventually his life. The battle is on between good and evil and the destiny of all may rest on the willingness of one man to remain faithful to Eidon and sacrifice beyond what he can imagine.

Karen Hancock's final book is spellbinding and a fitting end to this wonderful fantasy/allegorical series. The faith and love of Abramm, Maddie and Trap are tested more than ever before and their responses are genuine and heartfelt. The reader has little difficulty imagining the land, the people and the intricate politics of the warring countries as Karen's writing is of the highest calibre. The characters' individual struggles are portrayed so well that I was fully invested in the outcomes of their choices. The tension between Trap and Carissa and their languishing marriage is excellent and juxtaposed beautifully with Abramm and Maddie's seemingly unfounded commitment to each other despite their physical separation. Staffids, shapeshifters and the purging of physical evil by the cleansing light of Eidon are vivid allegorical descriptions of our own lives.

Return of the Guardian King is engrossing, entertaining and challenging. The message at it's heart is powerful and not to be missed. This is a landmark series to be enjoyed more than once.

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