Monday, June 30, 2008

Book Review: "Hidden" by Shelley Shepard Gray


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Hidden

Avon Inspire (May 27, 2008)

by

Shelley Shepard Gray



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Hidden is Shelley’s first foray into inspirational fiction. Previously, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio where she writes full time. Shelley is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and is part of the Telecare ministry, which calls homebound members on a regular basis. Shelley looks forward to the opportunity to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Hidden is a remarkable story about the unlikely love between a modern girl on the run and an Amish boy from the family who shelters her.

When Anna decides it's time to leave her abusive boyfriend, she doesn't know where to turn. Rob is a successful and respected person in her community. He has completely won over her parents with his good looks and prestigious position at a top law firm. Only Anna has seen his dark side. But when Rob hurts Anna yet again, she realizes that she must finally help herself.

Desperate, she runs to the one place she’s always felt completely safe, the Amish Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, where years ago she and her mother once stayed, and where Anna met life-long friend Katie Brenneman. When Anna shows up years later unexpectedly, the family welcomes her in, with few questions asked, and allows her to stay, dressed as the Amish in Plain clothes, and help around the inn.

But Katie’s older brother Henry doesn’t take too kindly to the intrusion. Anna wonders if it’s because he’s already had his heart broken. To Henry’s shame, from the moment he sees Anna, he feels a strong attraction. To cover his infatuation, he tries to ignore her, knowing no good would ever come from keeping an eye on a fancy woman like her. But as he sees that Anna has a good heart and is not the selfish, spoiled woman he imagined her to be, he feels his heart pointing towards her.

Anna comes to realize that she’s found a home and true love in the last place she’d expected. How can she deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man who can’t seem to let her go?

If you would like to read the Prologue, go HERE

Wonderful debut writing

I love reading stories about the Amish lifestyle. I especially love the storis where the Amish and English worlds collide. This story clearly showed the differences between the two cultures but also how they could blend together. Rob is a really bad guy who wants to control everything possible. Yet I can totally see why it took so long for Anna to get away from him. With his smooth talk, he's a wolf in sheep's clothing. It's a completely realistic portrayal of an abusive relationship and why it's so tough for women to get help. Even when they do cry out for help, if someone doesn't want to see the wrong in someone they will turn a blind eye. I really didn't understand why the Brenneman's turned a cold shoulder to Anna's problems. Yes she did bring her issues and situation to their peaceful community the way Henry and his parents were acting seemed like she was in the wrong for running away and trying to get help. Did they want her to stay in the relationship and get hurt even more? I hope not, but that was the reaction that I got from them. The only complaint I had about this book was that it was a little short. I felt like there could have been more told about Anna and Henry's growing relationship plus expounding on how she was going to switch over to the Amish lifestyle. I am looking very forward to reading the next book in the series. If you love stories about the Amish lifestyle, be sure to pick up this outstanding debut.

Hidden by Shelly Shepard Gray is published by
Avon Inspire (2008)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Movie Review: "Sex and the City: The Movie"

I loved Sex and the City when it was on TV. I actually didn't have cable but I watched the episodes when they came out on DVD. So much of what happened in the show could relate to my life. It was total guilty pleasure. And the clothes!! And I wanted to go live in New York City too. So as a huge fan of the show, I was thrilled to hear that the movie was going to come out. I was afraid however that the movie would not be able to live up to the series. And we all know how those movies based on TV shows end up turning out to be.

Luckily, I was in for a huge treat. Fashion in this movie is simply superb. I love the scenes where Carrie is modeling the wedding dresses for the Vogue photo shoot. My favorite was the Oscar De La Renta Dress. I love the clothes that all the women wear. Charlotte's is my personal favorite because it's so classy and elegant. Carrie's is the one I wish I could wear but I know I could never pull off. The story is completely believable. I loved how the whole thing played out. There were laughs, and scenes where you cry. It was like seeing old friends again. Everything was the same and yet different at the same time. I do love the ending (don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet) and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. It wasn't something I expected to happen in that way but I was really glad for it. If they did a sequel to the movie, as long as everyone's in it again, and they follow the same format you can bet I'll be there on opening night.

My one weakness with the movie was Jennifer Hudson's character. She could have been totally eliminated and nothing would have changed. And I know she's an Oscar winner and all, but her acting was kinda flat to me. I do like how it's explained how a recent college grad can afford a $10,000 purse though. Also I wish certain people would have been a couple but alas it's not meant to be.

I'm not recommending this movie due to the R rating but if you are a fan of the show, you're going to LOVE this movie. It's pretty much a season's worth of episodes crammed into a 2 hour film. I do hope that studio execs don't think that all romantic comedies will do as well as this movie. This movie only did well because of the rabid fans like myself lol. On a completely different side note, it's amazing how this series made Sarah Jessica Parker really cool and a trendsetter. I watched her in the First Wives Club and oh my geez, talk about someone Carrie would NEVER hang around.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo and Book Giveaway

I'm giving away a brand new copy of today's book! Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Thursday, July 3. International readers may enter. Good luck!

Beth Pattillo (Heavens to Betsy and Earth to Betsy) knows how to follow a dream—even with a pile of publishing industry rejection slips to her name. She spent seven years on the path to her first publishing contract, and the characters in her new novel, The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society, embrace Pattillo’s persistence.

Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille are not perfect women. They each struggle with love in their own way—unrequited love, forbidden love, overwhelming love, even lost love. Yet they battle on, meeting every month in the Pairs and Spares Sunday school room to knit, discuss that month’s book selection, and puzzle out their lives.

When Eugenie throws neglected and abused teenager Hannah Simmons into their midst, however, walls decades in the making come crashing down. With secrets thrown on the table amid the tangle of yarn, needles and books, one thing becomes certain: The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society will soon discover what’s most important in the complicated lives they lead.

Beth Pattillo is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and holds a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University. She and her family make their home in Tennessee. Her novel, Heavens to Betsy, won the prestigious RITA award from the Romance Writers of America. TheSweetgum Knit Lit Society is her fourth novel. To learn more, visit www.bethpattillo.com






Q&A with Beth Pattillo, author of The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society

Q. What was your inspiration behind The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society?

The book was inspired by the knitting group at my church. I loved the way a group of diverse women, from their teens to retirement age, bonded over knitting and prayer. I think book clubs experience a similar phenomenon. Something about knitting or reading together really helps to create authentic community. One of the things I enjoyed most about writing this book was looking at the world from such different points of view. Each of the women in the novel is unique. And the variety of ages and life experiences kept things interesting.


Q. In the book, troubled teen Hannah Simmons has seen her share of neglect and abuse before meeting the ladies of the Knit Lit Society. Do you see many teens like Hannah in the course of your work as an ordained minister? If so, what is your philosophy in helping them find healing?

Unfortunately, I’ve met a number of teens over the years that were neglected by their parents. I’m a strong believer in youth ministry because I know it can provide guidance and care that’s often missing in a teenager’s home. In the novel, Hannah happens to be poor, but I’ve found that income level, however high or low, doesn’t always correlate to the quality of parenting. The love and attention of a youth minister and/or youth sponsor can often keep a teen from making bad choices with disastrous consequences. Teenagers need to feel competent and valued. A strong youth ministry provides an opportunity for young people to find their spiritual gifts and use them. It also makes God’s love tangible and powerful.


Q. Since not every town has a Knit Lit Society, what would your advice be to anyone who has a "Hannah" in their life or knows of a teen in a similar situation?

Most teens need someone to listen to them without judgment or agenda. Mentoring, serving as a youth sponsor, teaching Sunday school and Bible study – these are all great ways to reach out to teenagers. As a minister, in a particular situation, I have to assess whether a teenager needs the help of social services in addition to the love and care of a church family. All ministers are required by law to report suspected abuse. Neglect, though, can be a bit trickier. Ideally, a minister can reach out to the parents as well as the teen to try and help the family become more functional and caring. I always appreciated my church members letting me know if they thought a particular teenager needed help. I think it’s better to get involved and ultimately find that the situation wasn’t as serious as you thought than to ignore something until a crisis occurs.


Q. Do you knit in your spare time?

I love to knit! I’m into hand-tied yarn right now, taking eight or nine different yarns in a particular color palette and tying 2-3 yard sections end to end. The result is wonderfully shaggy scarves or shawls that have real depth of color and texture. (I was inspired by the owner of The Shaggy Sheep in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas – a terrific yarn store!) I’m afraid I have numerous unfinished projects around the house, but one day, I hope to finish them all.

Q. You spent seven years waiting to publish your first book and now The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society is your fourth book. What advice do you have for novice or aspiring writers?

Aspiring writers have to persevere. For that matter, so do published authors. The publishing industry is a rejection-based business. Work hard, acquire a thick skin, be open to good criticism, and revise, revise, revise. As writers, we take our work personally, but the publishing industry doesn’t. Rejection is a business decision, not a critique of our value as human beings!


My other piece of advice is to write every day, even if it’s only a small amount. I run an email loop called Club 100 For Writers. The challenge is to write 100 words a day for 100 days. I’ve seen this practice transform people’s lives. Instructions for joining the group are on my website, http://www.bethpattillo.com/.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Calico Canyon

Barbour Publishing, Inc (July 1, 2008)

by

Mary Connealy



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MARY CONNEALY is an award-winning author and playwright, married to Ivan a farmer, and the mother of four beautiful daughters, Joslyn, Wendy, Shelly and Katy. They live in Decatur, Nebraska. Mary is a GED Instructor by day and an author by night. And there is always a cape involved in her transformation.

Mary has also written Petticoat Ranch, Golden Days, and her latest, Alaska Brides that will debut in August.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?

Running from her Abusive foster-father, a man intent on revenge, the prim and perfectly proper Grace Calhoun takes on the job of schoolmarm in Mosqueros, Texas.

As if being a wanted woman isn't bad enough, Grace has her hands full with the five rowdy and rambunctious Reeves boys─tough Texan tormenters who seem intent on making her life miserable. When, in an attempt to escape from the clutches of her pursuer, Grace is forced to marry widower Daniel Reeves, father of the miniature monsters, she thinks things couldn't get any worse. Or could they?

Daniel Reeves, happy in his all-male world, is doing the best he can, raising his five boys─rascals, each and every one. Since his wife's death in childbirth, Daniel has been determined never to risk marriage again.

When God throws Grace and Danielt together─two people who couldn't detest each other more─the trouble is only beginning.

Will this hapless pair find the courage to face life together in the isolated Calico Canyon? Or are their differences too broad a chasm to bridge?

If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book Review: "Along Came a Cowboy" by Christine Lynxwiler and Book Giveaway


I'm giving away a brand new copy of today's book! Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win. I'll pick a name and announce the winner on Tuesday, July 1. International readers may enter. Good luck!

From the outside looking in, local Chiropractor Dr. Rachel Donovan seems to have it together. She’s returned to her hometown of Shady Grove and runs a thriving Chiropractic practice. She’s be nominated as Shady Grove’s Citizen Of The Year, and appointed to the committee planning the town’s major centennial celebration and rodeo. Unfortunately, on the inside everything is not as it appears.

The committee duties come with baggage—cute, cowboy baggage to be precise. Jack Westwood is the epitome of the stereotypical cowboy; rugged, handsome and bull-headed. While he makes everyone else swoon, Rachel is determined to not get involved any more than necessary. She knows his type—T-R-O-U-B-L-E.


Unfortunately, the fallout from a mistake that Rachel made fifteen years ago still echoes today threatening to ruin her sterling reputation and bring the whole façade tumbling around her . She thought she had buried it deep in her past, but while she’d moved on she never really moved past that summer. Even though she knows that God has forgiven her, she’s having a harder time forgiving herself.

Can the woman who has devoted her life to healing others allow God to mend her own hurt? Will she seize the opportunity to reconcile with her past and open her heart to love again? Will she come to terms with her mistake and forgive herself before her opportunity at love fades into the sunset?


Cowboy Take me Away

New authors are always an interesting experience. You never know what you're going to expect. When you're not used to a writer's previous works, the first book of theirs that you read can make or break whether or not you'll continue reading their books. Lucky for Christine Lynxwiler she's made it in my opinion! I really enjoyed reading this book. Rachel is a wonderful character and I really liked the way she handled herself. We find out about her past a bit at a time throughout the story and I liked it more that way rather than everything being told all at one time. Her chemistry with Jack is wonderful and I loved reading about the two of them together. The romance sometimes feels like it's playing second fiddle to the conflicts within Rachel's family but it's still very much alive and kicking. I also enjoyed reading about bull riding and cattle roping. Not activities I would ever do myself, but still fun to learn about. The story that actually held my attention the most though was Lark's story involving adopting a baby. I could have read an entire book on that situation alone! I'm looking forward to going back and reading the first book in the series and I hope there are more stories about the Pinky Promise sisterhood in the future!

Along Came a Cowboy by Christine Lynxwiler is published by Barbour (2008)


Award-winning author and past president of American Christian Romance Writers, CHRISTINE LYNXWILER has numerous novels and novellas published with Barbour, including Arkansas, Promise Me Always, and Forever Christmas.

She and her husband, Kevin, along with their two daughters, four horses, and two dogs live in the foothills of the beautiful Ozark Mountains in their home state of Arkansas.

Q&A with Christine Lynxwiler, author of Along Came A Cowboy

Q: In Along Came A Cowboy, the lead character struggles with forgiving herself for a past sin that has had a major impact on her life. Why do you think it is easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves or even to accept forgiveness.

A. I don’t know the answer to that, but I have a few ideas. First, I think we hold ourselves to a higher standard than we do others. Or we might feel, like Rachel did, that if we beat ourselves up enough about the past, then we’ll feel worthy of forgiveness. Also, it’s much easier to give than it is to receive. Same goes with forgiveness. Maybe because our pride isn’t battered by forgiving someone, but being forgiven implies owning up to sin and recognizing that we can’t fix our mistake on our own.

Q. What would your advice be to someone who is struggling to come to terms with a past indiscretion?

A. Obviously, if you’re a Christian, I’d advise giving the past to God and once you’ve repented and asked His forgiveness, forgive yourself, forget it and move on. But that’s a little simplistic for most of us. I think many of us tend to do what Rachel does in Along Came a Cowboy and magnify our own sins. What seems like an unfortunate little stumble on someone else’s path can appear to be a plunge to certain death on our own life’s road. So consider how you’d feel about a friend or loved one if they’d done exactly what you did. If the answer is, “I’d forgive them” then forgive yourself. You deserve no less kindness and mercy from yourself than anyone else does. If that doesn’t work for you and you have children, ask yourself how you would feel if your child did this thing. Would you still love them? If they turned from this sin, would you forgive them? If the answer is yes, then your Heavenly Father still loves you and forgives you too, so it’s time to let it go and forgive yourself. If the answer is no, then maybe your current sin is an inability to forgive others and that’s a whole ‘nother problem.

Q. When you’re writing, what do you use as your inspiration?

A. Inspiration and ideas come from everywhere. But as I said in an interview recently, I’m an Arkansas country girl, born and raised on a farm, and currently living in the most beautiful small town (in my opinion anyway) in the Ozarks. So these are the places and people that inspire me to write. My books are almost all set in small town Arkansas. My characters are rarely ever patterned after one specific person. Instead each one is a conglomeration of people I meet and interact with every day. I get inspired when I ask “What if?” That’s the neverending question and asking it usually will bring more stories than one person can write in a lifetime.

Q. What do you enjoy most about writing Christian fiction?


A. One thing that I used to complain about that I’ve now come to enjoy is the fact that all my books have a common theme—God is in control. Sometimes it’s the main theme, sometimes it’s just an underlying thread. Each story line is very different from the last one, but the theme is always there. As this theme emerges in a new story, it brings me joy and sometimes even laughter because I know that this is a lesson God is patiently teaching me. I told someone recently that around book seven I began to look for a new theme. “I’m going to get boring,” I wailed. But apparently, even now on book fourteen, I haven’t quite mastered this “God is in control” concept, because inevitably by the end of the book, my character is struggling to come to terms with the fact that she is not in the driver’s seat of her own life. Now when I start a story, I look forward to seeing how this particular theme is going to show up.

On a more serious note, I enjoy knowing that the stories God allows me to write not only entertain, (which is why I wanted to be a writer) but that they also touch readers’ lives in a deeper way than I could ever imagine or take credit for. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.

Q. As an award-winning Christian romance writer, do you have any advice for novice or aspiring writers?

A. Never give up. And once you’ve decided that you’re not quitting, join American Christian Fiction Writers. The annual fee of $50 will be the best money you ever spend on your writing career. And don’t just pay the dues and not get your money’s worth. Join a critique group. Get to know other writers. Dedicate yourself to learning the craft. And never quit learning. Being published isn’t the end of the journey. It’s only one step along the way to being the best writer you can possibly be. Settle in for a long, bumpy, exhilarating ride!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione by Chuck Black


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione

(Multnomah Books - June 17, 2008)

by

Chuck Black


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chuck Black first wrote Kingdom’s Edge to inspire his children to read the Bible with renewed zeal. This captivating expanded parable led him to write the Old Testament allegories, Kingdom’s Dawn and Kingdom’s Hope. Chuck added three more titles to the series, Kingdom’s Call, Kingdom’s Quest, and Kingdom’s Reign which were released in May of 2007.

Chuck is a former F-16 fighter pilot and currently works as an engineer for a firm designing plastic consumer products. He has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and served eight years in the United States Air Force. Chuck and his wife Andrea have six children and live in North Dakota.

It is Chuck’s desire to serve the Lord through his work and to inspire people of all ages to study the scriptures in order to discover the hope and love of a truly majestic King and His Son.


ABOUT THE BOOK

A dangerous new order threatens the mission of the Knights of Arrethtrae. Only loyalty to the King can bring victory!

As the Knights of the Prince await His triumphant return, they are steadfast in their mission to take His story into the kingdom and recruit as many as are willing. But when a new and dangerous threat is revealed, their mission is jeopardized.

Sir Kendrick and his young charge, the impetuous Sir Duncan, are sent on a mission to discover the identity and origin of a secretive new order known as the Conquistero Knights. They travel to the city of Bel Lione where Lord Ra has been enticing young people in the kingdom to join his festivals, after which many choose not to return home. Their families keep quiet for fear of repercussion.

When Sir Duncan disappears while trying to discover the truth of Lord Ra’s castle, Sir Kendrick attempts to find and enlist the help of a mysterious warrior. Time is short for he must save Duncan and call upon the knights of Chessington to join in the battle against the evil Lord Ra.

Journey to Arrethtrae, where these knights of noble heart live and die in loyal service to the King and the Prince. These knights are mighty, for they serve a mighty King. They are...the Knights of Arrethtrae!

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mixed Bags by Melody Carlson



It's June 21st, time for the Teen FIRST blog tour!(Join our alliance! Click the button!) Every 21st, we will feature an author and his/her latest Teen fiction book's FIRST chapter!




and her book:


Zondervan (May 1, 2008)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

In sixth grade, Melody Carlson helped start a school newspaper called The BuccaNews (her school’s mascot was a Buccaneer...arrr!). As editor of this paper, she wrote most of the material herself, creating goofy phony bylines to hide the fact that the school newspaper was mostly a "one man" show.

Visit the Melody's website to see all of her wonderful and various book titles.

Don't miss the second book in this series: Stealing Bradford (Carter House Girls, Book 2)

And one of her latest, A Mile in My Flip-Flops will be featured on FIRST Blog Alliance on July 1st!

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (May 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310714885
ISBN-13: 978-0310714880



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

“Desiree,” called Inez as she knocked on the other side of the closed bedroom door. “Mrs. Carter wants to see you downstairs.”

“The name is DJ.”

“I’m sorry, but your grandmother has instructed me to call you Desiree.”

DJ opened the door and looked down on the short and slightly overweight middle-aged housekeeper. “And I have instructed you to call me DJ.”

Inez’s dark eyes twinkled as she gave her a sly grin. “Yes, but it’s your grandmother who pays my salary, Desiree. I take orders from Mrs. Carter. And she wants to see you downstairs in her office, pronto.”

DJ grabbed her favorite Yankees ball cap and shoved it onto her head, pulling her scraggly looking blonde ponytail through the hole in the back of it.

“You’re wearing that?” asked Inez with a frown. “You know what your grandmother says about — -”

“Look,” said DJ. “My grandmother might pay you to take orders from her, but I’m a free agent. Got that?”

Inez chuckled. “I got that. But you’re the one who’ll be getting it before too long, Desiree.”

“DJ,” she growled as she tromped loudly down the curving staircase. Why had she let Dad talk her into living with her grandmother for her last two years of high school? She’d only been here since last spring, late into the school year, but long enough to know that it was nearly unbearable. Boarding school would be better than this. At least she’d have a little privacy there and no one constantly riding her — -telling her how to act, walk, look, and think. She wished there were some way, short of running away (which would be totally stupid), out of this uncomfortable arrangement.

“There you are,” said Grandmother when DJ walked into the office. Her grandmother frowned at her ball cap and then pasted what appeared to be a very forced smile onto her collagen-injected lips. “I want you to meet a new resident.” She made a graceful hand movement, motioning to where an attractive and somewhat familiar-looking Latina woman was sitting next to a fashionably dressed girl who seemed to be about DJ’s age, but could probably pass for older. The girl was beautiful. Even with the scowl creasing her forehead, it was obvious that this girl was stunning. Her skin was darker than her mother’s, latte-colored and creamy. Her long black hair curled softly around her face. She had high cheekbones and dramatic eyes.

DJ noticed her grandmother smiling her approval on this unhappy-looking girl. But the girl looked oblivious as she fiddled with the gold chain of what looked like an expensive designer bag. Not that DJ was an expert when it came to fashion. The woman stood politely, extending her hand to DJ.

“I’d like to present my granddaughter, Desiree Lane.” Grandmother turned back to DJ now, the approval evaporating from her expression. “Desiree, this is Ms. Perez and her daughter Taylor.”

DJ shook the woman’s hand and mumbled, “Nice to meet you.” But the unfriendly daughter just sat in the leather chair, one long leg elegantly crossed over the other, as she totally ignored everyone in the room.

Grandmother continued speaking to DJ, although DJ suspected this little speech was for Taylor’s mother. “Ms. Perez and I first met when my magazine featured her for her illustrious music career. Her face graced our cover numerous times over the years. Perhaps you’ve heard of Eva Perez.”

The woman smiled. “Or perhaps not,” she said in a voice that was as smooth as honey. “According to my daughter, kids in your age group don’t comprise even a minuscule part of my fan base.”

DJ smiled at the woman now. “Actually, I have heard of you, Ms. Perez. My mom used to play your CDs. She was a serious Latin jazz fan.”

“Was?” She frowned. “I hope her taste in music hasn’t changed. I need all the fans I can get these days.”

Grandmother cleared her throat. “Desiree’s mother — -my daughter — -was killed in a car accident about a year ago.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry.”

DJ sort of nodded. She never knew how to react when -people said they were sorry about the loss of her mother. It wasn’t as if it were their fault.

“Desiree,” said Grandmother, “Would you mind giving Taylor a tour of the house while I go over some business details with her mother?”

“No problem.”

Grandmother’s recently Botoxed forehead creased ever so slightly, and DJ knew that, once again, she had either said the wrong thing, used bad grammar, or was slumping like a “bag of potatoes.” Nothing she did ever seemed right when it came to her grandmother. “And after the tour, perhaps you could show Taylor to her room.”

“Which room?” asked DJ, feeling concerned. Sure, Taylor might be a perfectly nice person, even if a little snobbish, but DJ was not ready for a roommate just yet.

“The blue room, please. Inez has already taken some of Taylor’s bags up for her. Thank you, Desiree.”

Feeling dismissed as well as disapproved of, DJ led their reluctant new resident out to the foyer. “Well, you’ve probably already seen this.” DJ waved her arm toward the elegant front entrance with its carved double doors and shining marble floor and Persian rug. She motioned toward the ornate oak staircase. “And that’s where the bedrooms are, but we can see that later.” She walked through to the dining room. “This is where we chow down.” She pointed to the swinging doors. “The kitchen’s back there, but the cook, Clara, can be a little witchy about trespassers.” DJ snickered. “Besides, my grandmother does not want her girls to spend much time in the kitchen anyway.”

“Like that’s going to be a problem,” said Taylor, the first words she’d spoken since meeting DJ.

“Huh?” said DJ.

“I don’t imagine anyone is going to be exactly pigging out around here. I mean aren’t we all supposed to become famous models or something?” asked Taylor as she examined a perfectly manicured thumbnail.

DJ frowned. “Well, my grandmother did edit one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world, but I don’t think that means we’re all going to become famous models. I know I’m not.”

Taylor peered curiously at her. “Why not? You’ve got the height, the build, and you’re not half bad looking . . . well, other than the fact that you obviously have absolutely no style.” She sort of laughed, but not with genuine humor. “But then you’ve got your grandmother to straighten that out for you.”

DJ just shook her head. “I think my grandmother will give up on me pretty soon. Especially when the others get here. She’ll have girls with more promise to set her sights on.” At least that was what DJ was hoping.

“Has anyone else arrived?”

“Not yet.” DJ continued the tour. “This is the library.” She paused to allow Taylor to look inside the room and then moved on. “And that’s the sunroom, or observatory, as Grandmother calls it.” She laughed. “Hearing her talk about this house sometimes reminds me of playing Clue.”

“What?”

“You know, the murder game, like where Colonel Mustard kills Mrs. Peacock with a wrench in the observatory.”

“Oh, I never played that.”

“Right . . .” Then DJ showed Taylor the large living room, the most modern space in the house. Grandmother had put this room together shortly after deciding to take on her crazy venture. Above the fireplace hung a large flat-screen TV, which was connected to a state-of-the-art DVD and sound system. This was encircled by some comfortable pieces of leather furniture, pillows, and throws.

“Not bad,” admitted Taylor.

“Welcome back to the twenty-first century.”

“Do you have wireless here?”

“Yeah. I told Grandmother it was a necessity for school.”

“Good.”

“This house has been in our family for a long time,” said DJ as she led Taylor up the stairs. “But no one has lived here for the past twenty years. My grandmother had it restored after she retired a -couple of years ago.” DJ didn’t add that her grandmother had been forced to retire due to her age (a carefully guarded and mysterious number) or that this new business venture, boarding teen “debutantes,” was to help supplement her retirement income. Those were strict family secrets and, despite DJ’s angst in living here, she did have a sense of family loyalty — -at least for the time being. She wasn’t sure if she could control herself indefinitely.

DJ stopped at the second-floor landing. “The bedrooms are on this floor, and the third floor has a ballroom that would be perfect for volleyball, although Grandmother has made it clear that it’s not that kind of ballroom.” She led Taylor down the hall. “My bedroom is here,” she pointed to the closed door. “And yours is right next door.” She opened the door. “The blue room.”

Taylor looked into the pale blue room and shook her head in a dismal way. “And is it true that I have to share this room with a perfect stranger?”

“Well, I don’t know how perfect she’ll be.”

“Funny.” Taylor rolled her eyes as she opened a door to one of the walk-in closets opposite the beds.

“I try.”

“It’s not as big as I expected.”

“It’s bigger than it looks,” said DJ as she walked into the room and then pointed to a small alcove that led to the bathroom.

“Do I get any say in who becomes my roommate?”

“I guess you can take that up with my grandmother.”

Taylor tossed her purse onto the bed closest to the bathroom and then kicked off her metallic-toned sandals. “These shoes might be Marc Jacobs, but they’re killing me.”

“So, you’re really into this?” asked DJ. “The whole fashion thing?”

Taylor sat down on the bed, rubbing a foot. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good.”

DJ felt the need to bite her tongue. Taylor was her grandmother’s first official paying customer to arrive and participate in this crazy scheme. Far be it from DJ to rock Grandmother’s boat. At least not just yet.

“Well, thanks for the tour,” said Taylor in a bored voice. Then she went over to where a set of expensive-looking luggage was stacked in a corner. “Don’t the servants around here know how to put things away properly?”

“Properly?” DJ shrugged.

Taylor picked up the top bag and laid it down on the bench at the foot of one of the beds and opened it.

“Don’t you want to go down and tell your mom good-bye?” asked DJ as she moved toward the door.

Taylor laughed in a mean way. “And make her think she’s doing me a favor by dumping me here? Not on your life.”

“Here are some more bags for Miss Mitchell,” said Inez as she lugged two large suitcases into the room, setting them by the door.

“Put them over there,” commanded Taylor, pointing to the bench at the foot of the other bed. “And don’t pile them on top of each other. This happens to be Louis Vuitton, you know.”

DJ saw Inez make a face behind Taylor’s back. But the truth was DJ didn’t blame her. Inez might be a housekeeper, but she didn’t deserve to be treated like a slave. Suddenly, DJ felt guilty for snapping at Inez earlier today. She smiled now, and Inez looked surprised and a little suspicious. Then DJ grabbed the largest bag, hoisted it onto the bench with a loud grunt, and Taylor turned around and gave her a dark scowl.

“Thank you,” she snapped.

“Later,” said DJ as she exited the room with Inez on her heels.

“Mrs. Carter wants to see you downstairs, Desiree,” announced Inez when they were out on the landing.

“Again?” complained DJ. “What for?”

“Another girl just arrived. Your grandmother wants you to give her a tour too.”

“What am I now?” asked DJ. “The official tour guide?”

“That sounds about right.” Inez gave her a smirk.

DJ wasn’t sure if she could stomach another fashion diva with an attitude problem, but on the other hand, she didn’t want to risk another etiquette lecture from her grandmother either. Once again, she clomped down the stairs and made her appearance in the office, suppressing the urge to bow and say, “At your ser-vice, Madam.”

“Eliza,” gushed Grandmother, “This is my granddaughter, Desiree Lane. And Desiree, I’d like you to meet Eliza Wilton.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Desiree.”

DJ nodded. She could tell by how formal her grandmother was acting that Eliza Wilton must be someone really important — -meaning extraordinarily wealthy — -even more so than the Mitchells. And that’s when she remembered her grandmother going on about “the Wilton fortune” this morning at breakfast. Of course, that must be Eliza’s family.

“Nice to meet ya, Eliza,” DJ said in a purposely casual tone. This girl was pretty too, but not like Taylor’s dark and dramatic beauty. Eliza was a tall, slender, impeccably dressed, blue-eyed blonde. She wasn’t exactly a Paris Hilton clone — -and she didn’t have a little dog as far as DJ could see — -but there was a similarity, except that Eliza’s face was a little softer looking, a little sweeter, but then looks could be deceiving.

DJ wondered if the Botox was starting to wear off, as her grandmother studied her with a furrowed brow, probably comparing her to Miss Perfect Eliza. Naturally, DJ would not measure up.

“Eliza is from Louisville,” said Grandmother. “Her parents are presently residing in France, where her father just purchased a vineyard. But Eliza’s grandmother and I are old friends. We went to college together. When she heard about what I was doing up here in Connecticut, she encouraged her daughter to send dear Eliza our way.”

“Lucky Eliza,” said DJ in a droll tone.

Eliza actually giggled. Then Grandmother cleared her throat. “Desiree will give you a tour of the house,” she said. “And she’ll show you to your room.”

“Which is . . . ?” asked DJ.

“The rose room.”

Of course, thought DJ as she led Eliza from the office. Next to her grandmother’s suite, the rose room was probably the best room in the house. Naturally, someone as important as Eliza would be entitled to that. Not that DJ had wanted it. And perhaps her grandmother had actually offered it to her last month. DJ couldn’t remember. But she had never been a flowery sort of girl, and she knew the rose wallpaper in there would’ve been giving her a serious migraine by now. Besides she liked her sunny yellow bedroom and, in her opinion, it had the best view in the house. On a clear day, you could actually glimpse a sliver of the Atlantic Ocean from her small bathroom window.

DJ started to do a repeat of her earlier tour, even using the same lines, until she realized that Eliza was actually interested.

“How old is this house?”

“Just over a hundred years,” DJ told her. “It was built in 1891.”

“It has a nice feel to it.”

DJ considered this. “Yeah, I kinda thought that too, after I got used to it. To be honest, it seemed pretty big to me at first. But then you’re probably used to big houses.”

“I suppose. Not that I’m particularly fond of mansions.”

“Why aren’t you with your parents?” asked DJ. “In France?”

“They’re concerned about things like politics and security,” said Eliza as they exited the library. “In fact, they almost refused to let me come here.”

“Why?”

“Oh, I think they felt I was safer in boarding school. If our grandmothers hadn’t been such good friends, I’m sure they never would’ve agreed.”

“So, you’re happy to be here?” DJ studied Eliza’s expression.

“Sure, aren’t you?”

DJ frowned. “I don’t know . . . I guess.”

“I think it’ll be fun to go to a real high school, to just live like a normal girl, with other normal girls.”

DJ tried not to look too shocked. “You think this is normal?”

Eliza laughed. “I guess I don’t really know what normal is, but it’s more normal that what I’m used to.”

“But what about the whole fashion thing?” asked DJ. “I mean you must know about my grandmother’s plans to turn us all into little debutantes. Are you into all that?”

“That’s nothing new. Remember, I’m from the south. My family is obsessed with turning me into a lady. That was one of the other reasons my parents agreed to this. I think they see the Carter House as some sort of finishing school.”

Or some sort of reformatory school, thought DJ. Although she didn’t say it out loud. Not yet, anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Movie Review: "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

Did you know there used to be a time in my life when Harrison Ford was only Indiana Jones to me? Growing up I had no clue he was such a big star. I didn't even know he was in Star Wars until 1999. The Indiana Jones trilogy is one of the best set of films ever made. I love all three of them and rewatch them every year. My personal favorite is Last Crusade especially because of the chemistry between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery (Dad? What? Dad? What? DAD!! WHAT???!!) So when news that Indy 4 was FINALLY coming out, my whole family rejoiced and made plans to see it as a family.

Since I really enjoyed this movie let me break down what I especially loved:
  • Mutt dipping his comb in the coke and Indy's reaction
  • After the motorcycle chase Mutt grins and Indy gives a stern look (just like his dad!)
  • Indy pulls up the brush during the radiation cleaning scene
  • Being totally freaked out during the first grave scene
  • The Ark being shown in the warehouse
  • Harrison Ford is still buff for 65!
Cate Blanchett was absolutely wonderful as the villain in this movie. I loved her accent and her way of kicking butt. By the way, this was the first Indy movie where he doesn't sleep with anyone! I was so thrilled that Marion was back in this film. She was my favorite out of the three women from the series. Willie was just a ...blond who got on my nerves and the other chick was a Nazi (enough said). Marion was the only one who fought back and could stand up for herself, the perfect heroine IMHO.

The snake scene was hilarious. And my dad really enjoyed that part too. He's scared of snakes too, and throughout the whole scene he kept squealing in the theater. Like LOUD squealing. My mom kept trying to cover his mouth with her hand. My sisters and I shrunk down in our seats. It was rather embarrassing. I myself loved the subtle homage to Marcus and Indy's dad with the pictures on Indy's desk. Although I do agree with a forum post about Sean Connery's picture looking like a publicity head shot, surely Indy would have had a a more personal pic! Shia Lebouff was actually quite good in this movie. I was pleasantly surprised with his acting. I did miss Sallah, surely they could have added him in somehow. The climax of the movie seemed rather cheesy to me but I still enjoyed it.


The only thing that made me truly disappointed about this movie is that it was released not even a full week after Prince Caspian. It was bittersweet to watch Indy do so well because at the same time PC was hurting. Other than that, I loved this movie and I can't wait til it comes out on DVD to add to our collection. Indy fans won't be disappointed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spring Reading Thing Wrap Up



Well all good things must come to an end. And the
Spring Reading Thing is now over. How'd I do? Well I read all the books (25) on my list PLUS 37 more for a grand total of 62 books in 3 months!!!!!

Here's the list of the books I read for the challenge. Here's a breakdown of the OTHER books that I read

Christian Fiction:
  1. The Hand That Bears the Sword by George Bryan Polivka
  2. The Other Daughter by Miralee Ferrell
  3. Daring Chloe by Laura Jensen Walker
  4. On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones
  5. The Forbidden by Beverly Lewis
  6. Midsummer Melody by Rebecca Kelly
  7. Symphony of Secrets by Sharon Hinck
  8. Something Old Something New by Jane Orcutt
  9. The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Ewen
  10. We Have This Moment by Diann Hunt
  11. A Whisper of Freedom by Tricia Goyer
  12. All in the Timing by Melody Carlson
  13. Forsaken by James David Jordan
  14. Zora and Nicky by Claudia Mair Burney
  15. When Zeffie Got a Clue by Peggy Darty
  16. The Song Weaver by B.J. Hoff
  17. Death, Deceit and Some Smooth Jazz by Claudia Mair Burney
  18. Kill Me If You Can by Nicole Young
  19. The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang
  20. Someday by Karen Kingsbury
  21. The Pipe Organ by Jane Orcutt
  22. Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake
  23. A Lady of Secret Devotion by Tracie Peterson
  24. Saving Grace by Denise Hunter
  25. Summer Snow by Nicole Baart
  26. Lorna by Debra White Smith
  27. Paws, Prayers and Providence by Diann Hunt
  28. Finding Faith by Denise Hunter
  29. Along Came a Cowboy by Christine Lynxwiler


YA:

  1. Blonde Ambition by Zoey Dean
  2. Tall Cool One by Zoey Dean
  3. Back in Black by Zoey Dean
  4. Some Like It Hot by Zoey Dean
  5. Bratfest at Tiffany’s by Lisi Harrison
  6. Girls on Film by Zoey Dean
  7. The A-List by Zoey Dean

Chick Lit:

  1. All Eyes on Her by Poonam Sharma
  • What was the best book you read this spring? Daring Chloe was really really good. Blood Sisters was an eyeopener.
  • What book could you have done without? All goodies this time around, although The Wedding Machine did take me a while to get into.
  • Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? Yep, finally gave in and started The A-List series and found it's not too bad.
  • If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? I finished all my books this time around.
  • 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? Enjoyed seeing all the other Christian fiction books on other TBR lists. Makes me want to go back and reread them again.
  • 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! I had a short original list to begin with. My goal was to read at least one more than the 53 from the fall challenge. I had no idea I had read so many this go round!
  • What was the best part of the Spring Reading Challenge? I read all my library books that I had kept putting off. So I got them all done with no fines to pay!
  • Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this all? Definitely. Although with school and wedding plans, I'll prally have a really small list next time!
  • Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments. Thanks for hosting this Katrina!!!! Can't wait til fall!

Spring Reading Challenge

FINISHED!!!!!


Well it's that time of the year again! Katrina at Callapidder Days is issuing out the command to get our reading lists out and done!

Spring Reading Thing 2008 is simply an opportunity for you to set some reading goals, share them with the blogosphere, and work toward them this spring. Perhaps you want to add some variety to your fiction reading. Or maybe you've had very good intentions as far as reading that book on budgeting or marriage or starting a home business, but...you haven't even cracked the cover yet. Some might want to read more with their children; others might feel guilty for never having read Wuthering Heights.

Or maybe you just love to read and want to share your reading list and check out everyone else's.

If any of those situations resonate with you, then the Spring Reading Thing is for you!
So without further adieu is here is my list for the challenge! (I will be having reviews for most of the books up on my blog once I am finished with the book, so this is a preview of what is to come for the next few months). Note: These are all my library books, which means these MUST be read by the end of the challenge or face the wrath of fines! I haven't listed books I own because I don't know if I'll get around to them, but they might pop up at the end of the challenge on my list.

Christian Fiction

  • Slices of Life by Judy Baer
  • Snow Angel by Jamie Carie
  • Hidden History by Melody Carlson
  • Blood Sisters by Melody Carlson
  • Midnight Sea by Colleen Coble
  • Obsession by Ted Dekker
  • Saint by Ted Dekker
  • Showdown by Ted Dekker
  • Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake
  • The Wedding Machine by Beth Webb Hart
  • The Wind Harp by B.J. Hoff
  • A Distant Music by B.J. Hoff
  • Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury
  • Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury
  • Summer by Karen Kingsbury
  • On Sparrow Hill by Maureen Lang
  • First Dawn by Judith Miller
  • Morning Sky by Judith Miller
  • Daylight Comes by Judith Miller
  • Solemnly Swear by Nancy Moser
  • Embrace Me by Lisa Samson
Teen Fiction
  • Payback by Melody Carlson
Chick-Lit
  • Notes from the Backseat by Jody Gehrman
Children's Fiction
  • The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
25 books....my smallest challenge yet! I know I'll read more of course. For the fall I read 53 books in 3 months. Will I beat it this go around? Come back in June and find out!

Book Review: "The Moon in the Mango Tree" by Pamela Binnings Ewen

Historical fiction at its Best

Barbara has given up her dreams as an opera singer to follow her husband and his career as a doctor. Unfortunately his dreams mean leaving the country for the other side of the world in Siam. There Barbara must adapt to a completely different way of life, where she finds herself being ostracized by the missionary women and lonely without Harvey being there all the time. She finds herself wondering if her love for Harvey is really worth the sacrifices she must make. Based on the true story of the author's grandmother, this novel is a wonderful insight to a Westerner's view of an exotic land.

One of my most favorite movie musicals of all time is The King and I. The remake, Anna and the King starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun Fat, is equally stunning and beautiful. These movies gave an insight to Siamese culture. Thailand was the only Southeast Asian country to never fall to European colonization. Yet missionaries flocked to the country to help to westernize and bring Christianity to the people. This book joins that list to aiding to help give an insider's look at the country. There were several female characters in this story that really irked my gut. I just hate how women always manage to find someone to put each other down, even when they are supposed to be uplifting in a dire situation. I felt so sorry for Barbara after the way she was treated especially when she had done absolutely nothing wrong. It's just sad how missionary life can make people bitter because they soon realize they cannot change the world by themselves. I disliked Harvey at first. He seemed to act like the stereotype of most men who are more career driven than family minded. I was actually quite impressed with Barbara's decision. It was very modern of her to do what she did which her suffragette background helped to influence. I thought the story was extremely well written. I really felt like I had traveled back to the 1920s with the excellent description of the time period. This is a wonderful armchair traveler as the reader becomes immersed in the Thai and European cultures. This story also has special meaning to meaning to me as my father's family is from neighboring Burma. Therefore many of the unique traditions mentioned in the story are shared by my cultural background as well. If there's a historical fiction book you read this year, it needs to be this one. HIGHLY recommended.

The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen is published by B&H Publishing (2008)
Today I have Pamela Ewen guest blogging about her new book, The Moon in the Mango Tree!

As you know, The Moon in the Mango Tree is based on the true story of my grandmother’s life in the 1920’s, first in the jungles of north Siam—bordering Burma, where your father is from—and then in Bangkok, where he became a royal physician. My grandmother, Barbara Perkins, was one of those dazzling people that could not only tell stories, but lived them. She was irrepressible, a suffragette before women won the vote, smart, and talented, trained to sing grand opera. But in 1919, on the cusp of success in a musical career, she married my grandfather, a doctor, and followed her husband to Siam where he wanted to practice tropical medicine with a mission. This is the story of a woman struggling with faith and doubt, her longing to find meaning and purpose in life, and to sing. The lodestar of a musical career at last lures her from Siam to Paris, Lausanne, and finally Rome, where she’s faced with an excruciating choice between her husband and her music. The difficult choice between family and a demanding career that my grandmother faced 80 years ago is one that still stings many women today.


The adventures that Barbara encounters in Siam and pre-war Europe are taken from the stories she told to me, and from her letters and journals. In those days letters were the only communication she had with her family half-way around the world, so they are long and rich with detail. I did a lot of research for the book also, confirming events and people and places from old published diaries of other early travelers in the region. Reading the letters after she was gone was an amazing experience. They showed to me a side of my grandmother that I’d never known. For instance a letter rhapsodizing on the beauty of the Nan, the ancient jungle city of Siam where they lived, might contain one sentence that illuminated her struggles with faith. That is why I chose to fictionalize the story—sometimes fiction allows the writer to probe for deeper truth.


I’m a former lawyer. For many years I practiced law with a major, international law firm, and recently exchanged my partnership for the luxury of writing full time. It’s such a joy and I thank God every day for the blessing. Like most writers (I believe), I write only because that is what I love to do and I would do it regardless of whether the work might or might not ever be published. I cannot stress that last point enough to your readers who want to write. Writing The Moon in the Mango Tree transported me to another place and time. It brought my grandmother and grandfather back to me, and to my Mother who was born in Siam during that period.

I hope some of your readers will also visit my website to find our more about my first novel, Walk Back The Cat, and my non-fiction book, Faith On Trial, both dealing with the subjects of faith and doubt. www.pamelaewen.com.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Hunted by Mike Dellosso



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


The Hunted

(Realms - June 3, 2008)

by

Mike Dellosso



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted. He was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years and has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets. Mike also has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters.

Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, and International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.

You can read a great interview with Mike, over here on TitleTrakk


ABOUT THE BOOK

A town's deadly secret will drive one man to the edge of his faith...

After learning of the disappearance of his nephew, Joe Saunders returns to his childhood home of Dark Hills to aid in the search effort. When Caleb is found, badly mauled and clinging to life, Joe embarks on a mission to find the beast responsible. But the more Joe delves into the fabric of his old hometown, the more he realizes Dark Hills has a dark secret, shrouded for three generations in a deadly code of silence.

As Joe unravels the truth behind a series of unexplained animal attacks, murder, and corruption at the highest level of law enforcement, he is led to a final showdown where he must entrust his very life into God's hands. Will his young faith be strong ehough to battle the demonic forces of The Hunted.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.

Mike Dellosso could very well be the next Frank Peretti-if you liked The Oath and Monster, you are going to love The Hunted.
--C.J. Darlington, Cofounder and book editor, Titletrakk.com

A spine-tingling tale of hidden secrets, buried hopes, and second chances. A story best read with all the lights on and an extra flashlight--just in case!
--Amy Wallace, author of Ransomed Dreams

Mike Dellosso's pins-and-needles thriller hurtles the reader down a dark and twisted path. I dare you to take this one home!
--Jill Elizabeth Nelson, author of the To Catch a Thief suspense series

With hints of Frank Peretti and Stephen King, The Hunted is a chilling debut."
--Creston Mapes, author of Nobody

A vicious enemy, a family secret, a thirst for revenge, and a need for reconciliation all drive The Hunted from intriguing beginning to thrilling conclusion."
--Kathryn Mackel, author of Vanished

Read this someplace safe as you experience the incredibly descriptive world of The Hunted. And sleep with the lights on.
--Austin Boyd, author of Mars Hill Classified trilogy

Monday, June 16, 2008

Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deanne Gist


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Deep In The Heart Of Trouble

(Bethany House June 1, 2008)

by

Deanne Gist



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deanne Gist has been a busy lady. She had a career in elementary education. She raised four children. In fifteen years she has: run a home accessory/antique business, member of the press, penned freelance journalism for a few well-known publications, People, Parents, Family Fun and more. She was the CFO for her husband's engineering company, she did all this in her home.

She also founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products which would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.

Eight months later, she submitted A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers and they picked it up for their new "edgy inspirational" line of historical fiction. After its release in July 2005, Bride hit eight best seller lists and has sold over 100,000 copies and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2006. The Measure of a Lady was her 2006 summer release. It hit five best seller lists and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2007. Gist is contracted to have a new book come out every summer. Courting Trouble was her 2007 summer release and it hit three best seller lists.

Deeanne lives in Texas with her husband of twenty-four years. They have two kids in high school, two in college.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Texas-Sized Tale of Unexpected Love

Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, she’s known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man’s eye.

And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer’s oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune--not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde. She confounds, contradicts, and confuses him. Sometimes he doesn’t know if she’s driving him toward the aisle or the end of his rope.

That’s how life is ...Deep In The Heart Of Trouble

f you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

“Christy Award winner Gist’s historical romances have increasingly gained popularity, combining witty dialog, well-balanced plots, and fully developed characters who seem almost real. Recommended for CF and romance collections.”
-- Library Journal

"Gist does it again! Her signature prose is consistent and she delivers a thoroughly delightful and entertaining story that’s worthy of our time and attention. Not only won’t you want to put this book down, you’ll want to enjoy this story again and again."
-- JUNE TOP PICK, 4-1/2 STARS, Romantic Times, Jennifer Reyes

"Gist has once again written a delightfully humorous historical romance. After reading the first book in this series of two, I was anxious to get my hands on this one. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed ... It is a spectacular, feel-good story which I highly recommend. You will definitely be glad you read it."
-– FIVE STAR RATING, The Romance Studio, Brenda Talley