Tuesday, 30 September 2008

2009 releases from Barbour

For readers of romance, Barbour has every offering imaginable in 2009 ~ Amish, contemporary, historical, western and the list goes on!

To pre order, click on the title and to find out more, click on the author!


Check them out below:~

Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus

When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman? George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancee when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

Releasing January, 2009



Gingham Mountain by Mary Connealy

When Hannah Cartwright meets Grant, a disreputable-looking wrangler, she's determined to keep him from committing two orphan train children to hard labor on his ranch. How long will she have to play the role of schoolmarm before she gets a chance to rescue the children? Prudence, the town dressmaker, has designs on Grant. Will she succeed in securing his affections? As Grant struggles to run the ranch and raise six orphans, he finds love making tracks to his heart. Will he be caught in a web of deceit or lassoed by the love of one good woman?

Releasing February, 2009




A Cousin's Promise by Wanda E Brunstetter

Willkumm to the lush and lavish Amish country where Wanda Brunstetter's new
romantic series, Indiana Cousins, begins with A Cousin's Promise. Loraine Miller finds herself torn between the love of two good men- Wayne Lambright who, crippled after a tragic accident, feels himself unworthy of her love; and Jake Beechy who, after having abandoned her to explore the English world, returns to renew their courtship. To which man will she pledge her love and loyalty-for better or worse, until death they do part?

Releasing March, 2009




Chasing Charity by Marcia Gruver

When, in full view of family and friends
, Charity Bloom's fiancé leaves her stranded at the altar, she is humiliated. How will this raven haired beauty ever recover? When roughneck Buddy Pierce finds oil on Charity's land, he hopes to free the Blooms from their poverty stricken state. But will Buddy find the real treasure lies in Charity herself? Ruing the day he jilted Charity, Daniel Clark is determined to regain her heart. But can he remove the three things that stand in his way-a manipulative mama, a spurned lover, and the stranger knee-deep in black oil?

Releasing April, 2009




The Reluctant Cowgirl by Christine Lynxwiler

Actress Crystal McCord gave up the closeness of her big family in order to make a name for herself on the New York City stage. But when life in the Big Apple turns sour, she follows a country road back to her parents' Arkansas ranch. The last thing she expects to find in cowboy country is a new leading man. Still, she can't help but imagine handsome rancher Jeremy Buchanan in the role. Unfortunately, Jeremy's been burned by Crystal's type before. Or has he? Every time he thinks he knows her, the multi-faceted woman surprises him. Will the reluctant pair allow their hearts to guide them, or will their common stubborn pride keep them miles apart.

Releasing April, 2009




Beloved Counterfeit by Kathleen Y'Barbo

When the less-than-reputable Ruby O'Shea washes up on the shores of Fairweather Key, she's determined to bury her past and make a new life for herself and her three nieces. But doing so will entail secrecy and deception. Is that any way to start anew? When Micah Take, a wrecker, widower and soon-to-be preacher, falls for Ruby, it seems a wedding is certain and her past unimportant. But as Ruby's secrets are uncovered, Micah finds himself falling short of the grace of forgiveness. Will Micah abandon the heart that God has won? Or will he stand by his woman against all odds?

Releasing May, 2009



The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake

Two feuding families, the Specks and the Grogans, have been maintaining a tenuous peace in the Nebraskan Territory of 1857. So when Adam Grogan gets caught trespassing on their land, he knows the murderous Speck men won't listen to reason and let him walk away. Adam's prepared to meet his maker, but things take a turn when Opal Speck declares he's the father of her unborn child. Will Adam accept the slur to his name and marry the girl in order to save his life?

Releasing June, 2009


Book trailer of Christa Parrish's Home Another Way

Home Another Way is one of my favourite books for 2009. Christa Parrish has created a beautiful and unexpected story.

Check out the trailer and then buy the book!
Available now from Bethany.



Relz Reviewz Extras

Read my review

Visit Christa's website and blog

Buy Home Another Way from Amazon and Koorong

Check back soon for my interview with Christa and signed giveaway

Monday, 29 September 2008

CFBA Blog Tour of John 3:16 by Nancy Moser


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

John 3:16

Tyndale House Publishers (September 9, 2008)

by

Nancy Moser



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and eighteen novels, including Solemnly Swear, Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner, and her latest historical, Washington's Lady.

Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies and choirs. She gives Said So Sister Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included.

Find out more at Nancy Moser.com and Sister Circles.com




ABOUT THE BOOK

Five people looking for a reason to keep living are about to find it in the last place they expect... In my usual "big cast" style comes a story of what happens when one man puts his faith on the line and holds up a John 3:16 sign at a sporting event. Roman Paulson's life revolves around his son, Billy, a University of Nebraska football hero with a promising life ahead of him. But when Billy's coach encroaches on Roman's relationship with his son, Roman fears he'll lose Billy forever. Roman isn't the only one whose world turns upside down. He's one of five unsuspecting people whose lives intersect on a bright fall day.

If you would like to read the first chapter of John 3:16, go HERE

Rel: I'm a third the way through this one and very interested to see where it goes!

Character Spotlight ~ Rachel Hauck's Elle Garvey from Love Starts With Elle

Welcome to the first Character Spotlight post! The compassionate and thought provoking Rachel Hauck gets to play guinea pig for me! Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this little endeavour, especially any authors and/or characters you would like to see featured in this segment or ways to improve it. Send an email if you would prefer to relzreviewz @ gmail . com (minus spaces)

Today the spotlight shines on......................... Elle Garvey!


Rachel Hauck has a gift for creating genuine and engaging characters so over the next few weeks we are going to spend some time with Rachel as she chats about each one of her leading ladies, starting with Miss Elle Garvey of her recently released Love Starts With Elle.

Brief physical description:

Elle is a bl
onde, medium build, green eyes. Heath is "good looking." Fill in the blank. I don't do a whole lot on physical description because I see them more internally. It's really hard to maintain an image of them on the outside, but I see them more internally. Yet, I see them move and smile, hear them laugh and speak. But details, not so much.

When I had the video made for the book, the animator asked how to design Elle. I sent him pictures of Kate Hudson. Physically, she makes me think of Elle.

Rel here: Jim Caviezel is my choice for Heath ;-)

Strengths and weaknesses:

Elle's strength is her creativity. Her weakness is her lack of confidence in her ability.
Heath's strength is his decisiveness. He knows what he needs to do and does it. Weakness is.... Elle!

Quirk (if any):

Elle didn't really have a quirk, nor Heath. He does take up carving with a chain saw, but he learned how to do that as a kid.




Your inspir
ation for the character:

Elle inspired me. She came alive on the pages of Sweet Caroline and I knew she needed her own story. After that, I read a lot about art and artist, even painted a picture myself. I'm NO artist.



Background to the story:

When I realized Elle loses everything, I wanted to put her in a place of prayer. Pretty tricky, cause how do you write an interesting book where the character has nothing going on in her life but prayer.

Adding Heath's point of view, bringing his story to the page, helped broaden the scope so I could have Elle develop a routine of prayer.

I believe in prayer. It's important and so often we get swept away in the busyness of life, the "doing" we forget to just "be."

In the quiet, Elle discovered God's heart for her.

Thanks Rach - love what you have shared!

Check back next week as we delve into Caroline Sweeney from Rachel's Sweet Caroline.


Relz Reviewz Extras

Read my review of Love Starts With Elle

Watch the Elle book trailer

Visit Rachel's website and blog

Buy Love Starts With Elle at Amazon or Koorong


A Passion Redeemed and Aussie Giveaway

The conniving and flirtatious Charity O'Connor is back with a vengeance in the second Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed.

Despite betraying her sister, Faith and shattering the heart of Mitch Dennehy, Charity continues with her manipulative ways. Realising it is Mitch she truly loves, Charity sets her cap for him but fails to change her ways, believing seduction and jealous torment will make Mitch fall for her again.

Mitch ruefully acknowledges the physical attraction he feels whenever Charity is near but is determined to find a woman worthy of spending a lifetime with and he knows it it not Charity, a woman whom he cannot trust.

As Charity connives and Mitch rejects, only divine intervention will give either of them a change of heart.

Julie Lessman's writing continues to shine as she tells the story of Charity, the black sheep of the O'Connor family. Charity is difficult to like and kudos to Julie for continuing her struggle to find love with all the wrong intentions. Do not expect to find Charity immediately transformed but prepare to journey with this hurting woman as she slowly uncovers what motivates her desperate and coquettish personality. Charity is not on her own when it comes to dealing with the past - Mitch, too finds himself looking deep within his heart as revelations of his attitudes to women haunt him.

A Passion Redeemed is a moving study of the human heart in all it's blackness until the light of God's redeeming love purifies it in unexpected ways. Julie's prose, her engaging and authentic characters and thoroughly entertaining story lines continue to impress me and I look forward to whatever she has in store in the future, especially for Beth and Brady.


Relz Reviewz Extras

Read my review of A Passion Most Pure

Read my interview with Julie

Visit Julie's website

Buy Julie's books at Amazon or Koorong


Aussie Giveaway

Entry requirements:~

1. You must have an Aussie postal address

2. Post a comment before midnight on Sunday 5th October

3. Tell me a standout "bad girl" either in the Bible, movie or book

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A Sister's Hope by Wanda E Brunstetter ~ Tracy's Take

What is it about?

Martha is the youngest of Roman and Judith Hostettler’s three daughters. Her dog breeding business is struggling to get off the ground, despite her passion and soft heart for her animals. As the attacks of vandalism on her family’s property continue to escalate and the Sherriff seems unconcerned and disinterested Martha decides to do a little detective work of her own.

Luke Friesen is determined to clear his name with Roman Hostettler and win the respect of the man whose daughter he wishes to court. Roman suspects Luke of the attacks on his family. Luke has a muddy history with Roman, having been fired by the surly woodworker for his youthful irresponsible attitude towards his work. Martha and Luke soon discover they are on the same mission and decide to team up and work together, keeping their growing friendship quiet so as not to arouse Roman’s ire and wrath.

What I thought:

Wanda E Brunstetter brings this trilogy to a very satisfying conclusion. I found it difficult to put the book down until the surprising revelation of the vandal in the very last pages. Martha is an engaging character full of spunk and determination. Wanda ably gives the reader an insight into the fact that Amish women are not a stereotype of quiet submission, but have their own mind and do indeed have influence in their own way. I was impressed with how Roman cares for his family, and is willing to listen to wise advice, despite his own initial leanings.

‘A Sister’s Hope’ reminds the reader that whilst God wants us to trust him unreservedly, He also expects us to be involved in our lives, rather than sitting idly by waiting for something to happen. As I have heard it said, ‘you can’t steer a stationary ship’. I was thrilled when different family members finally decided to take action and find out once and for all who was causing them so much harm and distress.


Guest reviewer: Tracy of Beyond My Picket Fence

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Six Random Things Meme

It was Deena at "A Peek at My Bookshelf" who dobbed me in!

Here's the rules for those I'm tagging. Check the list after my 6 THINGS to see if you're it then

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag sixish people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Now for Six Random things about me:

** I was a Personal Injuries lawyer for 12 years but now practise Elder and Estate Planning law!

** I met my hubby at University through The Navigators

** One of my ancestors came to Australia on the last convict ship

** I'm resistant to anaesthetic (I won't go into detail about my first caesarean!)

** I have in excess of 1500 Christian Fiction titles and run a little "library" from my home

** I studied Japanese at school and as a minor at Uni

I'm not going to tag anyone but would love to know six random things about you if you care to post them!

A Sister's Test by Wanda E Brunstetter ~ Tracy's Take

What is it about?

Ruth is the middle daughter of the Hostettler family. Her heart’s desire is to marry and fill her home with children. After a bit of a false start Ruth and Martin Gingerich begin courting. Ruth has much to look forward to as she and Martin begin planning their future together.

Amid the joy of planning a wedding and looking ahead to a life that fulfils and satisfies, the Hostettler home is vandalised on more than one occasion, marring their otherwise peaceful life. Who is responsible for the attacks, and what is their motivation? As the attacks continue and tragedy strikes, the family is left feeling insecure and vulnerable, their peace threatened and their Amish faith tested.

What I thought

I love novels about the Amish. Their way of life is so simple and unhurried. ‘A Sister’s Test’ takes the reader into the lives of the Hostettler family and reminds you of the things that are truly important in life. When Ruth faces tragedy, the faith of her family around her sustains her until she is able to see the light at the end of the tunnel for herself. The way she responds to her devastating loss is completely realistic. I loved how her plucky determined nature comes through as she seeks to rise above her pain and find a way forward in life. I was often frustrated at the way Ruth’s father, Roman, was so passive about the vandalism and attacks on his property and wished he might become a little more proactive. I also found the about face in his response to his sister’s sudden return to Holmes County a little unrealistic, considering his stubborn refusal to speak with her until forced into a position where he is essentially a captive audience.

Wanda E Brustetter weaves a tale that immerses the reader in the Amish lifestyle and reveals that which is otherwise hidden away from the modern world. I was reminded how busy we become chasing things that seem important at the time, and yet when trials come, it is faith and family that hold us together and those seemingly important things become insignificant. I did struggle a little with the way Wanda infused Amish words into conversations and felt it left things a little stilted and unnatural. However, this did not detract from the story so much that I did not enjoy the book.

I loved the way the book ended with the promise of good things to come for Ruth, but with the unresolved attacks left to be dealt with in the final book of the Sister of Holmes County series. I am looking forward to the final instalment of this series and finally discovering “who done it”.


Guest reviewer: Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence

Friday, 26 September 2008

Single Sashimi by Camy Tang

Hard work and determination helped Venus Chau shed her excess pounds and transformed her into a woman of beauty. Yet in her heart she harbours the pain of rejection and dismissal she experienced for all those years before.

When Drake Yu, the man who humiliated her in the past, asks her to join his sister's gaming company, Venus is adamant in her refusal until she is passed over for a promotion and her Grandma makes her an offer she can't refuse.

Forced together, Venus can see a change in Drake's behaviour but her inner fear and anger still dominates her response to him. She feels somewhat resigned to being the cousin who fails Grandma's mandate to marry and reproduce!

Camy Tang's feisty and colourful cousins are back in the third Sushi Series instalment as they encourage and annoy each other as good friends do. Camy doesn't do shy and retiring so Venus is full of spark and contentiousness as she makes her mark in her career and relationships. No doubt drawing on her own experience as a Youth Group leader, Camy drops the career minded Venus and solitary businessman Drake as volunteers with the local church youth group, providing plenty of laughs and moments of tenderness. While I would have enjoyed more interaction between Venus and Drake, Single Sashimi is a fun and sassy read that will satisfy Camy's growing legion of fans!


Relz Reviewz Extras

Read my reviews of Sushi for One? and Only Uni

Read my interview with Camy

Visit Camy's website and blog (be sure to check out her weekly giveaways)

Buy Camy's books at Amazon and Koorong

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Coming to Relz Reviewz ~ Character Spotlight!


Ever connect with a character in a novel?

Wish he or she was real person?

Wonder how the author created such a fun, fearless, or thought provoking character?

Well, wonder no more! Here at Relz Reviewz we are going behind the scenes to find out more about some of the characters you have come to know and love through the eyes of their very own creators, the authors themselves.

On Monday 29th September, my first Character Spotlight will highlight Rachel Hauck's engaging artist, Elle Garvey from Love Starts With Elle.



Please drop by on Monday to enjoy Rachel's insights and to share your thoughts on Character Spotlight!

Upcoming releases from Thomas Nelson

Some amazing books coming in December and early 2009 from Thomas Nelson! Click on the titles and Author names for more :)


Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter

Josephine doesn't
want to return to North Carolina to help with the harvest, but her fa
mily insists. As she walks through the orchard, memories of the accident haunt her and she's determined to talk her family into selling. There's just one obstacle---Grady MacKenzie, the manager. Can she convince him---or will her heart overrule her?

Releasing December, 2008








Tuck by Stephen Lawhead

The story of Rhi Bran y Hud-Robin Hood-conclud
es as Abbot Hugo and the Norman invaders attempt to wipe out King Raven and his flock once and for all. Their merciless attack, the first of many to come, heralds a dark and desperate day for the realm of Elfael. Bran and his few stalwarts desperately need encouragement and reinforcement if they are to survive. But Friar Tuck, a most unconventional priest, has a daring solution to their dilemma that will radically alter all we've known about the legendary figure known as Robin Hood.

Releasing January, 2009




The Rivers Run Dry by Sibella Giorello

When Raleigh Harmon, geologist and special agent for the FBI, is suddenly transferred from the Richmond field office to Seattle, she finds herself in strange territory. The Pacific Northwest has a whole different pace than the South does, her new boss seems determined to prove she can't handle the work, and she's desperately trying to keep her mother's sanity from crumbling altogether. But a missing hiker, a ransom note, an underground card game, and a "friend" with deadly intentions all ensure that there's no time for an easy transition. Raleigh will need all her skills and a little help-to keep the missing girl and herself alive.

Releasing February, 2009





The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander


McKenna and her rebellious y
ounger brother Robert accept an invitation from their distant cousin and move to Copper Creek, Colorado, seeking a fresh start in a quaint mountain town. There she meets US Marshall Wyatt Caradon who begins to suspect McKenna's brother of a number o illegal activities. When McKenna's cousin dies, leaving her the ranch and a young child, the future seems laid out for her. But a distant relative shows up to contest the will-and the judge is disinclined to grant the inheritance to an unmarried woman with no means to pay a mortgage. Wyatt's growing affection for McKenna and the likely ruling in the case motivate him to propose a marriage of convenience, but at what cost?

Releasing February, 2009


The Passion of Mary Margaret by Lisa Samson

When Mary-Margaret Danaher met Jude Keller, the lightkeeper's son, she was studying at convent school on a small island in the C
hesapeake Bay. Destined for a life as a religious sister, she nevertheless felt a pull toward Jude-rough and tumble, promiscuous Jude.

After sojourning as a medical missions sister in Swaziland, Mary-Margaret returns to the island to prepare for her find, vows. Jude, too, returns to the island, dissolute and hardened. Mary-Margaret can hardly believe it when the Spirit tells her she must marry the troubled boy who befriended her all those years ago, forsaking the only life she ever wanted for a man she knows she'll never love.


Releasing February, 2009

Stealing Bradford by Melody Carlson ~ Chloe-Anne's Take

The girls at the Carter House are settling down and forming new friendships. Even Casey is slowly on her way back to becoming herself again. The Carter girls are going back to school and for some of them it’s a new school where they know very few people. All of the girls have no trouble fitting in except for Casey. People are picking on her because of the way she dresses and acts. Will DJ look out for her old friend before Casey gets into real trouble?


Taylor can not stay away from the boys… She has given up trying to get Conner from DJ and has now moved on to Rhiannon’s boyfriend Bradford. The girls in the Carter House are extremely angry about this and will do almost anything to get back at Taylor. But what will happen when one of the Carter girls goes too far?

Stealing Bradford is an awesome sequel to Mixed Bags. Melody Carlson has done another exceptional job with this novel. I love that how even though DJ is now a Christian she doesn’t push it onto others but does stand up for what is right and her beliefs. I loved seeing the characters grow in themselves and each other. The book was absolutely fabulous and I can’t wait until I read another book by Melody Carlson.

Guest reviewer: teen Chloe-Anne
Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Melody's website

Buy the Carter House Girls series at Amazon or Koorong

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

CFBA Blog Tour of When the Soul Mends by Cindy Woodsmall


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

When The Soul Mends

WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2008)

by

Cindy Woodsmall



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cindy Woodsmall is a veteran homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

Her first novel,
When The Heart Cries, released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a Christian Book Association best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.

Her last book,
When the Morning Comes, hit the New York Times best-sellers extended list and the Christian Book Association best-sellers list.

Cindy’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

Cindy, her husband, their three sons and daughter-in-law reside in Georgia. Her husband is a registered land surveyor and a vice president at an engineering firm. Their oldest son has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine and works at a local hospital. Their second son and his wife are both students at the University of Georgia. Their teen-aged son keeps the household energized with his love of music, books, and writing.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Returning to the home she fled in disgrace, will Hannah find healing for the wounds of the past?

After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.

Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the Englischer world. She also has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancĂ© Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life–and perhaps to her first love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of
When The Soul Mends, go HERE

“A skillfully written story of forgiveness and redemption. Woodsmall’s authentic characters illustrate beautifully how wounded souls can indeed be mended.”
Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy

“Like the stitches on a well-loved quilt, love and faith hold together Cindy Woodsmall's When the Soul Mends, the brilliantly written third story in the Sisters of the Quilt series. With deft plotting and characters that seem to jump off the page, this novel offers the timeless truth that forgiveness is the balm which heals all wounds and a blanket for the soul.”
Kathleen Y’Barbo, author of Beloved Castaway

“What a vibrant, strong, emotional story! When the Heart Cries will grip you and not let go, I promise. Highly recommended!”
Gayle Roper, author of Allah’s Fire and the Seaside Seasons series

“Reaching deep into the heart of the reader, Cindy Woodsmall pens a beautifully lyrical story in her debut novel When the Heart Cries.”
Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of Rekindled

Mixed Bags by Melody Carlson ~ Chloe-Anne's Take

DJ is living at her grandmother’s house, but it isn’t just a normal house it is a boarding house for teenage girls. DJ doesn’t want to be there. When the girls start to arrive, DJ knows things are going to be hard, especially since she seems to be the odd one out.


Taylor seems out to get DJ, Rhiannon is all about religion and Casey, DJ’s old friend is completely different and not in a good way. Add to all of that peer pressure, fashion, boys and just getting along. The Carter House girls have a lot to figure out. To put the icing on the cake DJ’s grandmother was a model in 60’s and is trying to make them all into graceful young ladies.


Melody Carlson has done another perfect job with this novel, Mixed Bags. It’s good to see a book on something different, but within that Melody Carlson still faces teenage issues. The characters are so original, it would have been hard to personalise so many characters but Melody Carlson has made all of the characters unique in their own way. It was good to see one of the girls in the house a Christian and that she had an impact on some of the other characters. I am absolutely dying to bits to read the sequel, Stealing Bradford.


Guest reviewer: teen Chloe-Anne



Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Melody's website

Buy the Carter House Girls series at Amazon or Koorong

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Getting to know Camy Tang

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana and anything else that comes to mind.

Visit her website at
http://www.camytang.com/ for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away ten boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, SINGLE SASHIMI.

Here's what the lovely Camy had to say to Relz Reviewz:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

Silver. Because I like the color and the jewelry, and I read a lot of fantasy when I was younger, hence the romantic imagination. :)

Your first pet's name?

It wasn't really MY pet, it was my Mom's dog, but his name was Ami (French for friend) and he was this tiny black toy poodle.

Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school

I, alas, was a loser. I had no friends. But I found Jesus when I was thirteen, and then suddenly I realized I didn't need earthly friends to feel complete.

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

I don't remember this, but my mom says I took my Raggedy Ann doll with me everywhere. I stopped bringing her places when I got older, because she got replaced with a book. And I've kept that special toy with me ever since. :)

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

I'm such a weirdo, but I'd really like to meet Jessica Alba, because I think she's absolutely
gorgeous and I've loved her since the Dark Angel series.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

My knitting. Does that count as one object? Because if I can't knit, I am not a fun person to be with, trust me.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Vanilla, But I hardly ever have it alone--it's always topped with something like strawberries or nuts or hot fudge.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. No joke! And if I couldn't be a writer, I wanted to be a physicist. Yeah … don't ask.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Italy!!! Can you say, PASTA?????

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

My mom. She always encouraged my writing and never tried to deter me even though she knew it was highly unlikely I'd ever be published.

What's your favourite book?

Persuasion by Jane Austen. It's the ultimate romance novel, for me. I reread it several times a year, just because I'm a geek.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

Sleeping. OH, you mean waking hours? When I'm writing, I enjoy the plotting phase the best. I use lots of post it notes and put them all over my closet doors.

What's your favourite movie?

Pride and Prejudice (the BBC miniseries). I have watched it over and over again!

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

I had a great time when I visited China when I was in High School. I don't remember it much because I was young and stupid, but I do remember it was fun and neat.

What's your most fervent prayer?

God, please let me get a book contract!

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

I am not very brave at all. Hence, my bravest act was becoming a Christian. My second bravest (or stupidest) was adopting my dog from the Humane Society.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

My husband gave me a pair of amethyst earrings for my birthday one year. It was unexpected and very sweet.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

"I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me." John 12:32

It reminds me to lift up Christ in everything I do, and He'll draw people to Himself.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

I was at study group, and I laughed so hard, I farted. Loudly.

How did your husband propose to you?

At my birthday dinner (actually, it was dinner a few days before my birthday) at a seaside restaurant just after sunset.

What was the best advice you received on marriage before you were married?

To learn to communicate. I think my marriage is pretty good because we've worked hard to learn to communicate with each other. We're still learning and improving, but we avoided a lot of problems our first year because our youth pastor had spent some time in our premarital counseling teaching us how to communicate effectively.


Thanks for having me here, Rel!

A pleasure, Camy :) I have just finished reading Single Sashimi and loved it! My review with be up later this week.

Relz Reviewz Extras

My reviews of Sushi for One? and Only Uni

Visit Camy's website and blog

Buy Camy's books at Amazon and Koorong

By Reason of Insanity by Randy Singer

Quinn Newberg has a reputation, one he is happy to cultivate - a high priced, high stakes Vegas attorney with charm and vices to spare.

Investigative reporter, Catherine O'Rourke followed Quinn Newberg's most publicised trial yet she never imagined she would one day require his legal services. As she is haunted by dreams and visions of murders, Catherine becomes the focus of a police investigation into a serial killer with a penchant for leaving Bible verses alongside the victims.

As the evidence mounts, Quinn doubts even he can pull off the magic act necessary to convince the jury of Catherine's fractured and broken mind.

Randy Singer returns with his most stellar novel yet and yes, I have read them all. Brilliantly executed with complex characterisation and more twists and turns than a Grand Prix circuit, By Reason of Insanity is the quintessential legal thriller, John Grisham and Scott Turow notwithstanding. I was invested, heart and mind, in the story from the first page with Quinn's courtroom brilliance yet fractured heart, followed by Catherine's vulnerability and painful visions. Quinn, Catherine and Annie's back stories blend easily with the fast paced plot, and the presence of Quinn's young niece is a lovely touch, providing humour and a glimpse into Quinn's soul. Randy ramps up the suspense effortlessly making this a book you simply can't put down. I loved everything about By Reason of Insanity and it will be no surprise to me if it hits the big screen one day!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Randy's website

Buy Randy's books at Amazon or Koorong

Getting to know Erynn Mangum

The delightful Erynn Mangum found time between writing novels, planning her wedding and going on her honeymoon with her best friend, Jon (he is her husband too - wouldn't want there to be any confusion!) to share some of herself here at Relz Reviewz.

Erynn concludes her fabulous Lauren Holbrook series with Matchpoint, now available from NavPress and is hard at work on a new series.

For more details on her new series, Jon's marriage proposal and her cannabalistic guppy, read on!

Over to you, Erynn:~

If you could have chosen your own name , what would it be?

Oh gosh. “Could you please call me Cordelia?” J No, I’m not sure! I’ve never thought about it before. Maybe a name that doesn’t rhyme with thirteen other names.

Your first pets name?

Mickey – she actually was my parent’s dog before they had me. So I don’t know that she was my first pet. I think my first pet was a fish and I don’t remember her name. All I remember is she was a guppy and she had babies on like a weekly basis, but then she’d eat them. She was not a good fish mom.

Your best friends name in primary (elementary) school?

Whitney…now I don’t remember her last name…we were very close, can’t you tell? J

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

Yes, it was a stuffed Dalmatian from the movie, 101 Dalmatians.

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

I want to meet Julie Andrews. She seems like the neatest lady in Hollywood.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

Okay, it’s a toss-up between two things: A pillow or shrimp cocktail sauce. First because I don’t want to sleep on a rock, and second because I like shrimp with cocktail sauce.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Chocolate. Or vanilla with chocolate. Or cookies and cream. It depends on the day.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A police helicopter pilot. Thank God He knew what He was doing by making me a writer…

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Antarctica to see the penguins. Or, England and see where Pride and Prejudice took place.

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

My mom. She’s been with me through everything in my life – good and bad, and either celebrated or cried with me during it.

What's your favourite book?

Um… That changes on a weekly basis.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

Greeting Jon when he gets home from work.

What's your favourite movie?

The Princess Bride. Close second is Pride and Prejudice. And then While You Were Sleeping and Enchanted. J

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

Probably New York City. It’s so different than anything I’ve ever seen before!

What's your most fervent prayer?

God, make me holy.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

I’m not an especially brave person, but I’ve spoken in public a few times and since I’m usually scared out of my mind up until I get in front of people, I’d probably call that the bravest thing.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

My wedding rings.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Psalm 121 is my all-time favorite chapter – for someone who worries, this is the most comforting chapter out there. God is always, always watching over us.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

My whole life is pretty much an embarrassing moment with a few normal moments thrown in. My problem is I talk before I think. And I didn’t inherit any of my grandmother’s natural grace.

You recently married - congrats! How did your husband propose to you?

Oh yay! Romantical stuff! Well, he planned a picnic for right at the very end of picnic weather (meaning it was cold). We drove up into the mountains around our house and hiked over to a river. We’d been there on a picnic before, so I wasn’t expecting anything. We had our lunch and then we were just talking, watching the river, relaxing. He stood up to stretch and pulled me up too. That’s when he proposed. All I said was “oh my gosh!” over and over and over. It was perfect! I’d always been afraid that whoever I married would propose in front of a bunch of people – Jon did a great job. Just us, gorgeous scenery…

It is unusual for someone of your age to have three books published. How did it come about?

I’ve always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I got involved with the Christian Writers Guild that I got serious about it. It’s through them and their conferences that I got the contacts to get published.

Matchpoint

How did you create the indomitable Lauren Holbrook?

You know, I’m not sure. I thought it would be funny to write about a perpetual matchmaker who never wanted to get married, sat down and started writing.

How much of you is there in Laurie?

Um. None whatsoever! Okay, I lied. A lot. The only part that is one hundred percent hers and hers alone is how she says exactly what’s on her mind all the time. I wish I was more like that.

When you wrote Miss Match, was Laurie’s romantic future sealed or was there an alternative plan?

Actually, when I very first started writing, I thought she was going to end up with Brandon. Then Ryan popped up on the scene…funny how boys do that.

What was your favourite scene to write?

I love the scene where Ryan wakes her up by throwing rocks at her window and takes her to breakfast. He was cute in that scene. Or, maybe the staged walk/fireplace thing that Joan and Hannah set up. That was fun!

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

Three things: 1) God is not just a God of comfort and peace, but also a God who created our senses of humor. I have this theory that just like we glorify God with praise and prayer, we can also glorify Him by laughing and enjoying what He’s given us. 2) Love is not necessarily like it is on TV – it’s so much better because in life, it’s goofy and sappy and fun! Besides, who really wants a humorless Romeo to spend the rest of their life with? 3) Wait, I guess I only had two takeaways… J

What is in your writing pipeline? A sneak peek?

You’ll have to watch my blog for a sneak peek of Cool Beans, my work-in-progress. J I’ve been working on a bunch of different ideas, so we’ll just see!

Thank you so much, Rel! You are amazing!

Backatcha, Erynn :)

As seen at Titletrakk.com


Relz Reviewz Extras

My reviews of Missmatch, Rematch and Matchpoint

Visit Erynn's website and blog

Buy Erynn's books at Amazon and Koorong


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