Monday, October 31, 2011

Giveaway and Author Interview: Alabama Brides

Welcome to Writing for Christ Sandra Robbins, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?



I have always liked to challenge myself. I married before I finished college and went back to school several years later. I had been majoring in elementary education, but I chose to take the difficult road to pursuing a degree in music with a major in piano. Of course the students were younger than me and very talented, but I persevered and was chosen to study with the piano teacher who was the college’s artist-in-residence.  My experiences in college were some of the highlights of my life. After graduation, I taught music in three elementary schools and worked on my Master’s in education, then added an endorsement in administration and supervision. Those years of hard work prepared me for the dedication it takes to be a writer.



Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?
I have two genres that I love. One is romantic suspense, and the other is historical romance. I have been published in both, and I find it hard to choose which one is my favorite.

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing?

I write what I know. I’m sure everyone has heard that before, but I find it is what helps me write the stories God gives me. Of course I research facts I’m including in a story, but I find when I’m writing about an area or a topic that interests me I can better tell a story my readers will enjoy. My characters and settings tend to come from the South where I’ve lived and traveled all my life. As I say on my blog, From the banks of the Mississippi River to the Black Belt of Alabama, to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Sandra Robbins' characters will take you on a faith-filled journey as they experience life in the past and present-day South.”

What do you enjoy most about being a published author?
I enjoy hearing from my readers. Nothing gives me more pleasure than knowing that someone took the time to let me know they enjoyed a book I’ve written.


Places for readers to learn more about you?

Readers can find me at my website at http://sandrarobbins.net


They can also email me at sandra@sandrarobbins.net

On Thursdays, I also blog with three other writers at http://theborrowedbook.blogspot.com
Thank you for being with us today!
Hey Readers, here is your chance to win Sandra's latest novel!

Please leave an email address! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.


For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber


And an EXTRA one:
~Follow The Borrowed Book blog (Scroll down, it's on the right hand side) 

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on November 12th

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Up and Coming Fiction! Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart

Good Saturday Morning! I wanted to kick around a new blogging idea...let me know what you think...

Posting on Saturdays of a new release (no more than one) you might be interested in learning about. Christian Fiction of course. ;-) Let me know what you think!

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Radical Faith Brings about Radical Change

Beth Webb Hart explores what happens when we leave our inhibitions behind.



Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX–What would it look like if we really loved each other—if we had no inhibitions about sharing our faith and our very lives with a hurting world? How would we really spend our time and our money? And what impact would this have on our own families, especially our children? What impact would it have on our communities, our country and the world? These are the questions that first inspired Beth Webb Hart to write her newest novel, Sunrise on the Battery.



Hart always begins her writing with a question, and she was inspired with these questions after reading David Platt’s book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. His book uncovered blind spots in her own life and helped her fully imagine just where her characters’ uninhibited faith might take them. 



Mary Lynn Scoville has everything anyone could desire—a handsome husband, three beautiful daughters and a ticket into the social elite of Charleston, S.C. But after a miraculous answer to a prayer on her behalf, Mary Lynn decides to pray that her husband will discover the faith she loves. But when her prayers are answered, she finds her world turned upside down and is forced to deal with the idols she has created in her own life.



Jackson Scoville is a man on a mission. Growing up deprived of the finer things in life, he wants more for his children. His mission is to give his girls the best—a top-rate education, exposure and immersion in the fine arts and frequent opportunities to see the big wide world. “Not just education, baby—cultivation,” he is known to say. But when he discovers the truth of Scripture, his focus takes a quick turn—a turn his family may not like. 



While writing about the lives of Mary Lynn, Jackson and their daughters, Hart shows her readers how God can change a life and inspire a family. She draws her readers into the story, especially with her intricate details of the social culture of Charleston. Her characters will shine a reflection on her readers’ own struggles and fears, and they will be inspired to examine their own lives and discover what really matters.



According to Publisher’s Weekly, “Hart writes inspirational fiction that leaves readers pondering the subtly expressed life lessons well after the final chapter. She manages to make even the unlikely a real possibility in this richly written tale of discovering faith.” So come along as the Scoville family discovers their new family mission—a mission that will change their world and the world around them. 



Sunrise on the Battery by Beth Webb Hart


Thomas Nelson/October 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-5955-4200-7/320 pages/paperback/$15.99

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cold Call Friday with Jody Hedlund!!


Welcome Jody, to your “Cold Call” interview!! For those of you who don’t know what the “Cold Call” feature is, at the beginning of the month I have a poll, the winning author YOU then get to interview!! Jody Hedlund won this month’s vote and I am thrilled to present her here with YOUR questions. Without any further ado, heeeerrrre’s Jody!

Jody, I was wandering where you are from and what your family is like.

I spent most of my growing up years in the Midwest—in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana. And now I currently live in central Michigan. My dad was a Lutheran pastor and so we tended to move around quite a bit. I was a middle child, sandwiched between two brothers, which means I ended up being very athletic and playing a lot of sports (which unfortunately has not carried over to my adult years!).

I have been married to my college sweetheart for over twenty years. And God’s blessed us with five children who range in ages from 14 to 6. I have a set of twin daughters in the mix which has been fun and challenging at times too, especially when they were born premature and had to spend a month in the NICU. Thankfully, they survived and are turning into lovely young ladies.

When did you decide you were a writer? Was it something you’ve always known or discovered over time?

Like many writers, I’ve been writing since my childhood days. I always loved telling stories. When I was in junior high, I entered my first writing contest for a Biblical fiction story. And when I won, I realized God had indeed gifted me. I think that was when I became more serious about wanting to be a writer when I grew up.

However, as I began my college years, I quickly realized that creative writing wasn’t a career track that would help pay the bills. For a time, God moved me into social work. I went on to get my masters and was thankful for the experiences and opportunities I had during those years of helping underprivileged people.

I love Historical Fiction! What made you want to write this genre?

Historical fiction is my favorite genre to read. I love learning about past eras and those times when life was simpler and yet so much harder (without all of the modern conveniences!). I also like historical fiction because it allows me to escape from our present time-period with all of the problems and crimes. And although the past is fraught with problems too, I think the distance helps me put them into better perspective.

You’re so disciplined with your writing, so I’m wondering if this carries over into other aspects of your life? For example, do you have a cleaning schedule that results in a perpetually immaculate house, or does yours tend to get a bit cluttered like mine?

I admit, I’m a pretty organized person and I run a tight ship! But even though I’m the captain running my crew of five, I don’t do all the work by myself. My kids and my co-captain (my husband) pitch in too. We ALL work together. For example, on Saturday mornings we work together to clean half the house (and we alternate weeks). Everyone has a particular responsibility (like vacuuming or dusting), and we can usually get it done fairly quickly when we all do our part.

Even with trying to maintain a modicum of organization, I’ve also had to let go of a lot of trying to keep up with everything. I’m not able to declutter as much as I’d like to (particularly outgrown clothes and stuffed animals!) And I’m no longer able to maintain a weekly menu and instead just have to wing it for most meals (which typically means sticking to a few standard favorite meals that the kids like!).

Stephanie Grace Whitson is my favorite Christian author. Who is your favorite and what author inspires you?

I’m definitely a fan of Stephanie too! In fact, I’m slightly biased toward most of the Bethany House authors (since we share the same publisher!).

Jody, Carol Moncado and Casey
If you came to my house and browsed my bookshelves, you’d see a wide variety of books. I do a lot of reading with my children and so have shelves full of children and youth books. If you browsed my personal shelves, you’d find mostly historical fiction, lots of biographies, and plenty of books that aid me in my research.

I’m inspired by everything I read. I can usually find tidbits of interesting information in everything—but I’m especially fascinated by biographies, which is probably why I’ve enjoyed writing The Preacher’s Bride and The Doctor’s Lady which are both based on true people.

And for ALL your fans and eager readers, stomping on the internet’s doormat for the next book, where can they connect with you online? (and what is the release date for book 3???)

I love hearing from readers! The best places to connect with me are on Twitter, Facebook, or by shooting me an email. Make sure to say hi!

And my next book *drumroll* is called Unending Devotion, and it’s is releasing next fall of 2012.


Friday's Note
The winner of Ten Plagues by Mary Nealy is...
Ginger!!
Be haunting your inbox and congratulations!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Power of Prose, Power of Story ~ Forsaking All Others by Allison Pittman ~ Review

Few characters and the authors who create them upon the page, ring my emotions and drive me to escape within the pages of a well-written novel. With tension, a flair for the dramatic, an ability to build the emotions until I felt the pull of heartache or the joy of rejoicing, “Forsaking All Others” was a novel I dreaded giving up.

            I first met Camilla in “For Time and All Eternity”, the story of a woman deceived into Mormonism and then desperate to escape. The second novel in the series had me at the throat the entire way through. The beauty of the prose paints a fascinating picture. One of desperation, but hope. Love and yet loss. And the unquenchable hold of faith once lost, but now found.

            I can’t get over how much I loved the writing. The story is fantastic, the writing makes it sing. While many readers might become tired of the style, I found it freeing and gripping. I wanted to drink each word in and let it resonate within me.

            The story battles between two faiths. One a religion and the other salvation in Christ. I never once felt preached at.

            Camilla is a character I fell completely in love with, but I also loved hers and Nathan’s love story and I longed for the right resolution for their marriage.  I believe that was given, but there is still a part of me that is saddened when I closed the book.

            So many dynamics in this novel, a 200 word review feels constricting. I loved it. Plain and simple, I loved it. I hope you will too.

            This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.


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More about the novel...

Camilla Fox is alive.

The last thing she remembers is being lost in the snow after leaving her home to escape the Mormon faith she no longer calls her own. She’s been taken in by the 5th Infantry Regiment of the US Army and given over to the personal care of Captain Charles Brandon. As she regains her strength, memories of her two children she had to leave behind come flooding back, threatening to break her heart.

Camilla is determined to reunite with her daughters. But when news of her father’s grave illness reaches her, she knows she must return to the family farm to reconcile with her father. As spring arrives, Camilla returns to Salt Lake City a changed woman, but nothing could prepare her for the changes to the city, to the Mormon church, and to the family she left behind.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Learning to Like Change

I don't like change.

I was always the kid in my family who, when we went to Subway, would always get a tuna sandwhich on a round roll of bread. Always. And no lettuce.

I'm the kid that my mom had to drag out of the children's book section at the library, because I didn't want to change to chapter books.

And I'm the adult now that, though I like to "go with the flow", I don't like things to change. I love the status quo. I want people to stay where they are and be there when I know they will be there.

I don't like change. Period.

This struck me aknew when my dad and I were traveling across the United States. I don't even really remember what was goin on now, but something happened and we had to make a change of plans. My chest got all tight, my lungs wouldn't pull in enough air and I asked the all-fateful question. "What if?"

Now you'd think as a budding writer, I would like change. I would want to see what is around the next bend, but the truth of the matter is, I would rather stay on the straight and narrow road, no bushes or trees in sight to block my view and not a bend in any kind of view.

But when you take a good hard look at my lack of wanting to change. My lack of wanting to try something new, it's dragging a ball and chain called a lack of trust. Fears creep in, doubts arise and I tell myself this can never happen. This will never work, so why really bother trying?

Of course, if this "change" is something that will benefit me personally, I'm all for it! But throw in some added complications for life and those I love and uh-uh. Baby, the heels are digging in. See those little trenches in the dirt? Yep, those are mine.

But it was on that trip that I realized something...I don't like change, because I don't trust enough. My dad was driving, we were going to be fine. The fact that I can't remember now, proves that we were going to be fine.

And when a change comes up in my spiritual life, or my life that God has said, it's time to move forward, why would I pitch a fit? He's always taken care of me. He's never let me down. As long as I listen to His voice, He's never steered me wrong.

Your turn: So what about you? Do you balk at change? Throw a fit when it blocks your way?

Picture Credit

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who Can't Help Loving a Heroine Named Georgie?? ~ Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist ~ Review

Some novels I just don’t want to ever end. But at the same time, I am practically screaming to find out how. In. the. World. This is going to end!

            Do you see my dilemma? But I’m not going to complain, it’s a good..and fun one to have.

            “Love on the Line” is a masterfully written tale with excellent wordsmithing, characters that I just fell in love with and sizzling moments of romantic tension. The writing of a Deeanne Gist novel always pulls me by the throat into the story. It’s descriptive, sometimes even funny, charming, beautiful, paints a picture in your mind’s eyes with so few words needed.

            I loved the switchboard setting for Georgie. I looked over her shoulder the entire novel watching her take those calls and defend her birds. And when she pulled the splinters from Luke’s hands and arms…oh my. I loved, loved, loved the romance and restraint Georgie and Luke must walk through. I did have to chuckle a few times though when Luke was…ahem, especially thick.

            The twist at the end! I literally gasped at a conclusion I never saw coming. Talk about a surprise; I bet you will be too.
            This novel has so much going for it. A bit of humor, fascinating history, charming characters (who can’t love a heroine who can pull off the name Georgie?) heart-thumping romance. All…oh my. I want to go read the book one more time now…
            This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse for my copy to review.



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More about the book...

In 1904 Texas Ranger Luke Palmer arrives in Brenham, Texas, with one goal—to capture the gang of outlaws led by Frank Comer. Undercover as a telephone repairman, he uses his days on the range to search, not realizing there's another pair of eyes watching him.


Georgie Gail, switchboard operator and birder, heads out on a birding expedition, but instead of sighting a painted bunting, her opera glasses capture her telephone man, armed and far away from telephone lines. Palmer is forced to take this alluring troublemaker into his confidence and unwittingly puts her in harm's way. The closer he comes to the gang, the further she works her way into his heart—and into trouble. Soon it's more than just love that's on the line.


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Contest News!!


Deeanne is thrilled to introduce Georgie and Luke to the world in her latest novel, Love on the Line. To celebrate Deeanne's publisher, Bethany House, is hosting the Love on the Line iPad2 giveaway an Author Chat on Facebook! Enter today and follow the link below to RSVP for Deeanne's rip-roarin' Facebook Party!




One fortunate winner will receive: 
  • A Brand New iPad2 
  • A Signed Copy of Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at Deeanne's Author Chat Facebook Party. Deeanne will be wrapping of the Love on the Line celebration by chatting with friends new and old! So grab your copy of Love on the Line (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Deeanne on the evening of November 8th for a rip roaring book chat, a little trivia, a sneak peak at her next book, and lots of giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!


Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 8th!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Giveaway and Author Interview: A Place of Acceptance

Welcome to Writing for Christ Julie Bell, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know? 



I love Disney!  I collect Disney figurines and movies.



What surprised you the most about being a published author? 



I was surprised by this great feeling of humility that swept over me once the book was actually released.  It is amazing to write a story that God lays on your heart and have people read it and tell you they are touched by it.





Do you have a favorite genre to read/write? 



Christian fiction has been my favorite genre to read for many, many years and it is also the genre in which I write.



When you aren’t writing or interacting with fans, what do you enjoy doing? 



Spending time with my family and friends is my favorite thing to do.  I love to go to the movies and, of course, I love to read!  I am a French teacher, I have done some acting, I sing, and I love to ride horses.



What do you enjoy most about being a published author?



 I enjoy it when people tell me how their lives were impacted by the stories and how God used the stories to help them and also how the stories helped them to reexamine their relationship with God.





What do you like readers to take away from your books? 



I want readers to understand how deep and unconditional God’s love for His children is.  Specifically in my recently released novel, A Place of Acceptance, I want readers to walk away from the story realizing the importance of forgiveness and second chances.  God gives us forgiveness and second chances everyday and we need to recognize that and thank Him for it.  We also need to realize that we need to extend those same gifts to others.



Places for readers to learn more about you?



 Readers can check out my website at http://juliebell.tateauthor.com, email me at juliebell2000@gmail.com, and keep up with me on Facebook under Julie Bell, Novelist.

Thank you for being with us today!

Readers here is your chance to enter to win Julie's novel!
Please leave an email address. If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win!

For extra entries:~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber



Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on November 4th.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Short, but Sweet ~ Hook, Line and Sinker by Susan May Warren ~ Review


I fell in love with Deep Haven when I first read “My Foolish Heart” and was excited to learn there were more books set in this loveable small community, including this short novella, “Hook, Line and Sinker.”

            I like how the plot line is a sweet, simple story, but with a character arc that is indicative of a Susan May Warren novel. Of course because the novella is pretty short it is a quick read and felt a *bit* rushed, but that is the nature of a novella.

            I didn’t recognize the two main characters, but I’m wondering if they might have shown up in earlier Deep Haven novels.  The novel has a bit of prequel feel, but I didn’t feel lost in previous history while reading.

            It’s a love story between two people who - over a misunderstanding - have pushed aside their love, but never forgotten it, only tried to bury it. Seeing them work towards the other were sweet moments in the book.

            Combine a love story with fishing and a two college age grads in love and with a heart for God’s ministry you have a quick, fun, but enjoyable novel. The kind that is fun to curl up with and spend an hour or so lost in another world.

            This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.


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More about the novel:

Susie and Casey at the ACFW conference Sept. 2011
The annual Deep Haven fishing contest draws professional and amateur anglers from across the country, but this year, Ross Springer is determined to win the top cash prize. In fact, he has no choice. It’s his last chance to leave a lasting legacy at Bethel College. He just never imagined his fundraising scheme would hook Abigail Cushman, the grad student who reminds him of all they’d had—and lost—every time she glances his way.

Abigail Cushman may not know the difference between a bass and a trout, but how hard can it be to catch a fish? She’s a quick learner, and she’s certain her smarts can net her a win over Ross Springer, the handsome charmer she’s tried to forget since grief tore them apart.

In the ultimate showdown between brains and heart, will Ross and Abby reel in more than they bargained for?

Friday, October 21, 2011

From Mt. Rushmore to Yellowstone

My family is not a "touristy" kind of family. When we go somewhere, we go there to get there, if you know what I mean. For example: on the trip to St. Louis, Missouri for the ACFW conference we drove 800 miles one day. 700 the next and finished up the last 300 the next half a day. Yup, we go somewhere to get there.

But on our way home, Daddy decided he didn't want to see the same brown and flat country (sorry Nebraska and Wyoming) and do a bit of site seeing. The sites we saw totally made the drive worth it! I hope you enjoy my little blogging diary. :-)


You BET we had to stop at Casey, Iowa! Are you kidding?? A little town, that almost is practically a ghost town, had the first brick streets I've ever seen. This was a fun find!!


On Sunday, we went up into Hannibal, Missouri and saw where Mark Twain grew up. I even stood by Tom Sawyer's fence. ;-)


The best thing we did that entire trip was go up and see Mt. Rushmore. I guarantee if you EVER get to go, you need to. It is incredible in person and they have built an excellent museum down below with fabulous information. I loved just standing and looking up at what they did off the side of a cliff.


Here is me doing the "touristy" thing. NOT the most flattering picture...



These were the scale models for the mountain which are down below in the museum. They have videos, interviews and historical facts all over the place. A great learning experience since I didn't know much about the building of Mt. Rushmore.



These next few pictures were taken right as were climbing down off a mountain in Wyoming and some before we entered Yellowstone. The scenery right before we entered the park was truly breathtaking.





I got to see a herd of bison in Yellowstone. THAT was spectacular.


I tried to get some pictures of the Grand Tetons as we were driving past them and here are a couple that turned out pretty good. What a site with the sun setting on those jagged cliffs!


What about you?? Have you seen any of these national landmarks?

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My Friday Winners are...

For The Doctor's Lady by Jody Hedlund:
Sandee61

For Edge of Grace by Christa Allan:
Tore

The winner of their choice from my swap list for them and a friend from my Thankful post:
Jessica R. Patch

Thanks all! See you again on Monday (and always in the comments. ;-))


Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Mix of Personality ~ Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin ~ Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Wonderland Creek
Bethany House (October 1, 2011)
by
Lynn Austin
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.


It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.


Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother (age 98), and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.


Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.


Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. And two of her inspirational fiction books were chosen by Library Journal for their top picks in 2003, and 2005. One of Lynn's novels has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.   



ABOUT THE BOOK
Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend, Gordon, breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real world. Then to top it off, Alice loses her beloved job at the library because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.


Fleeing small-town gossip, Alice heads to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the library in the tiny coal-mining village of Acorn. Dropped off by her relatives, Alice volunteers to stay for two weeks to help the librarian, Leslie McDougal.


But the librarian turns out to be far different than she anticipated--not to mention the four lady librarians who travel to the remote homes to deliver the much-desired books. While Alice is trapped in Acorn against her will, she soon finds that real-life adventure and myster--and especially romance--are far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Wonderland Creek, go HERE.

My Review:

“Wonderland Creek” is one of those stories that I nearly laughed outright at the first chapter and found myself more than just a bit relating to the heroine of the novel, Alice Grace.

            Alice has her nose stuck in a book and not a single thought planted in reality. She is one of those characters who has so far to grow and to grow up (ha!), but has a voice upon the page that drew me as a reader. And in many ways it was almost uncomfortable the similarities I found in her character and mine. (though I hope I don’t view all of life through a novel. ;-)

            The novel is more romance than what I have read of Lynn Austin before and doesn’t have the deep plots she is known for, but the novel is still enjoyable.  There is a complexity to the characters, especially the mountain people with their feuds and struggles.

            The “murder” of Mack took several twists, but I’m not quite sure if I’m completely satisfied with the ending of it. I could have missed something along the way, which is tainting my view, but I thought it was closed up a bit too easily.

            The close of the novel was completely sweet and wonderful. The journey Alice and Mack make through the story with the other characters give the novel such a mix of personality and made the book an enjoyable read.

            This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thankful

Does it ever strike you that certain times of our lives lend us to be more grateful than others?

That shouldn't be the way it is, but it often seems that way--at least for me. And I seem to be lately put into circumstances that constantly remind me of all that I have to be thankful for.

During this time of working two jobs, my writing, an intensive writing class and a million little things to remember and do, I come home each night and realize how thankful I should be (and am!).

Because #1: I have a very supportive family who are more than willing to let me slip away into the office and write my 1,000 words with nary a complaint.
Family photo.
#2: They are eager and willing to take on my other chores (like cleaning the house on Fridays) so I can spend that time editing and writing towards my self-imposed deadlines.

#3: Though they don't always understand what is going on behind the closed doors of my mind, they smile and nod and let me spout my word count with an excited "good!" when I hit what I need to hit.

#4: I couldn't do this without them. Giving a hundred and ten percent more than I ever would have thought to ask for. They merely offer it.

So often I wonder if I'm doing them a disservice. That I really should be out washing the dishes instead of putting words on the page. Or cleaning the house instead of trying to fit one more page of edits into the day. But when I stop and look back at the bigger picture, they aren't doing it because they feel they have, they are doing it because they want to. Big difference.

It's the difference between accepting my writing and encouraging it. It's the difference between considering my writing a hobby and knowing it's a dream I strive for.

So this post is dedicated to my family. My wonderful, quirky, understanding, loveable family.

I hope like you, you have someone in your life who supports you like my family does me. I know most writer's families aren't like mine, but I hope you have someone in your life who are as thankful for as I am for my family.

Leave a comment telling me who that person is and I'll randomly draw a name to choose a title from my "Swap List" for you and that friend. (found on the right hand side of the blog. :-))

Write on!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lay Down Your Needles... ~ Knit with Love by Lisa Bogart Stories to Warm a Knitter's Heart ~ Review


Knitting is one of my all-time favorite pastimes (seconded only by reading a good book), so I really couldn’t turn down a chance to read a collection of stories “sure to warm a knitter’s heart”.

            From the chapter titles (knitting terms) to the stories tucked within the pages, knitters of all levels will find a moment of enjoyment if they can lay their needles down long enough to pick up the book. (smile)

            Each chapter shares stories knitters have written themselves about their experiences with knitting. Whether they have given it away, how knitting has proven therapeutic or what they do with their knitting to minister to others, as the reader, you are given firsthand accounts.

            The only thing I struggled with a bit with this book, was I almost never knew when it was the author talking or a story from a knitter. The stories were in quotes, but I still had a bit of a difficult time separating the two. It’s not necessarily a *bad* thing, it was just distracting for me personally.

            I loved sharing in each knitter’s stories and the “accessories” chapter with books for knitters (love my knitting books!!), I plan to share this little book for my favorite yarn shop owner – being the avid knitter she is, she will enjoy these stories!

            This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

            **Available October 2011 from Revell, a division of Baker Publishers**


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More about the book...


Knitting blesses the knitter in so many ways. It affords quiet time, the satisfaction that comes with a challenge met and a project finished, and a creative passion to share with other knitters. As knitting and the fiber arts enjoy a renaissance in popular culture, more and more women are discovering these personal benefits. But knitting also offers knitters a way to bless those around them with handmade gifts that come straight from the heart.

With inspiring stories, Knit with Love encourages and motivates knitters to see their own potential to bring joy and comfort to themselves and those around them. Whether someone has just picked up knitting needles for the first time or is a lifelong knitter, she will discover new ways to share her beautiful creations with others--and the peace that the rhythm of knitting brings to her own life.

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

 
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