Thursday, 31 January 2008

Blog Tour of Reluctant Smuggler by Jill Elizabeth Nelson and Aussie Giveaway!

Synopsis:~

Looting of archaeological sites is big business in a thriving art and antiquities black market. When a desperate foreign government hires Desiree Jacobs’s security company to stop the hemorrhage, she runs afoul of a deadly art-for-drugs operation. Tony Lucano risks his rising career in the FBI to dive into the international underworld after her. Before either of them can come up for air, they must navigate through a deepening murk of ruthless looters, hair-trigger DEA agents, crooked government agents, and innocent bystanders caught up in an illegal trade beyond their understanding. Even if a miracle delivers Desi and Tony from evil, will their love survive the test?

Complete with a reader’s guide, this third book in the To Catch a Thief series explores the power of hope in the darkest of circumstances.



Author Bio:~

Jill Elizabeth Nelson graduated with a degree in literature and creative writing from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. She served for three years as the senior inspirational reviewer for Romantic Times BOOKclub magazine and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers Group, and Christian Authors Network. In 2004, she served as a Christy Award judge in the romance category. Jill and her husband have four children and live in Madison, Minnesota.

To purchase this book, click here.

I was hoping to post my review but due to family illness, I am only halfway through the book but as another famous PI would say, "...and loving it"! Check back soon for my thoughts on this final instalment. You can read my review of the second book Reluctant Runaway, here.

I am thrilled to be giving away two copies of Reluctant Smuggler so:~

1. Provide an Aussie mailing addy;

2. Post a comment by midnight Thursday 7th February: and

3. Tell me one famous art treasure you have seen or would like to see!



Here's mine ~ the Mona Lisa ~ Steve and I saw it at the Louvre in 1996 and what a shock! Let's just say it's reputation
is a whole lot bigger than its size :)

Interview with A.J. Kiesling

Multi-published non fiction author A.J. Kiesling has recently released her debut novel, Skizzer, an intriguing tale of two sisters on a journey of discovery from North Carolina to England. For my review of Skizzer, click here and then read below for fascinating insights from A.J. on:~


Writing

Great questions, btw! I enjoyed these thoroughly J

Why Christian fiction?

It's funny you should ask that, because I didn't set out to write a distinctly “Christian” novel--instead, I simply wanted to tell a story that anyone could enjoy. Ever since I knew I wanted to write a novel (about 20 years now), I had it fixed in mind that I wouldn't write a preachy, formulaic, somebody-has-to-get-saved type of novel. Probably the biggest reason for this is that I've worked in Christian publishing for over two decades now, and across the years I've read my share of bad CBA fiction. Thankfully, the Christian fiction market has “grown up” a lot since then, with more sophisticated storytelling, more believable characters, and more realism sewn into the fabric. Readers respond to a good story well told, regardless of their faith background. If I can nudge someone closer to God, or even just get them thinking a bit about the possibility of His existence, that's wonderful. I hope that something my characters said lingers in their mind long after they close the book, and it sparks that internal dialogue.

If you think about Jesus' parables, they weren't overtly spiritual at all--quite the contrary. He talked about everyday things so His listeners could relate. But imbedded in each of those stories was a golden nugget of Truth that couldn't be denied.

Writing is obviously in your blood - was there a particular person who encouraged you to nurture your gift?

When I was young, my mother used to read Bible stories to us five kids every night before bedtime. We'd gather in a circle around her and listen wide-eyed to those stories, and through the early years her reading to us fostered a love of storytelling in me. I wrote my first book in second grade--a stapled, hand-illustrated book about horses--but it was a college professor of English who pulled me aside after class one day and told me I had a writing gift that I shouldn't squander. With his encouragement, I joined the staff of the college literary magazine and newspaper. After that, choosing a major in communications/journalism was a natural path for me.

Tell us about your day job

I am the editorial manager for Xulon Press, a Christian print-on-demand publisher in Central Florida. About 100-plus manuscripts a year move through the editorial department, where we assign them for editing/copyediting before they get typeset. Essentially, Xulon Press is a publishing service that helps authors who want to self-publish their book.

You have written numerous non fiction books ~ what was the transition to writing a novel like?

It was like finding my “mother tongue,” because although I was trained as a journalist (and have journalistic instincts), my first love has always been--and always will be--fiction. The transition to novels was actually very easy for me, but along the way I developed a new appreciation for authors who write incredibly complex, multi-layered novels with fully developed characters. It's an art, and one that has to be practiced to be perfected. I'm excited to be on this journey at last. If I had my preference, I would write nothing but novels from here on out.

What writing project are you working on now?

I'm in the “mulling over” stage of what might be my next book--a prequel to Skizzer filling in the gaps in the past (Becca and Claire's young adulthood), or perhaps even picking up the story of the earlier generation of Trowlings.

You have been an editor and been edited! How did you cope with the “being edited” experience?!

Anyone who is a professional editor appreciates what an editor brings to the table, so that part of the process was no problem. My project editor at Revell (Kristin Kornoelje) was INCREDIBLE and pointed out so many things that made Skizzer a better book. At the developmental stage, editorial director Lonnie Hull Dupont forced me out of my comfort zone with the first draft of the story, making me rewrite a new ending and change a key element of the plot that was too “dark” for Revell's readers (some of the Druidic stuff). In the process, it became not only a different book but a better book.

Skizzer

Please tell us the inspiration behind this novel

My growing up years contained a strong sister theme--my closest sister in age was like my twin--and somehow that elemental shaping force in my life spilled onto the page when I sat down to write a novel. My mom tells me that when I was young I would say “skizzer” when I wanted my sister, and that scrap of history figures into the title of my book. Skizzer is simply a childhood word for “sister,” but it also has undertones of the word schism too, and of course that (the idea of separation, and of someone not being who you thought they were) finds its way into the story as well. Around 1990 the title of the book came suddenly into my head one day as I was sitting with my sister by a pool. Over the years bits of the story would surface, but it wasn't until I visited England in 1996 with my best friend that the setting for the most potent scenes in the book solidified in my mind. England imprinted me powerfully, possibly because my ancestors on both sides are English. Going there felt like coming home.

Claire and Becca are such different personalities - which one is more like you, if at all?

There are bits of me in both characters. I was always bookish and shy like Claire, a person who “sees deeply,” as Colin tells her when they meet on her first trip to England as a girl. But at the same time, when my sister and I were young, my mom tells me I was always dragging her (my sibling) into situations she might have preferred to avoid!

What was your favourite scene to write?

By far, I would have to pick the scene where Claire stumbles through the willow tree glade and comes upon Colin Lockwood tending flowers--her first real meeting with him. In my mind, the scene extends to their walk with Becca down to the stone church with the bell tower and strange carving in the wall, the place “where the real ghost story occurred,” as Colin informs the girls.

How do you go about choosing names for your characters?

Some of the names, such as Claire, came to mind very easily--that one is my youngest daughter's middle name, and it just fit. The same could be said for Colin Lockwood. His name and the way he looks simply leaped into my mind fully formed one day. Others I have to hammer out, say the name out loud, feel it on my tongue, so to speak, to see if it's right for the character. My daughter helped me to come up with the name for the abandoned estate in the North Carolina flashback scenes. That old house was inspired by a real “haunted house” in my childhood where we used to play.

Have you travelled to the UK? I'm thinking you have as you describe it so well. If so, what is your favourite place to visit?

Yes, I have been to the UK twice now--once in 1982 and a second time in 1996, where my best friend and I stayed at a real Rectory Inn bed & breakfast that inspired the English setting for the book. The most charming places we visited were the Lake District (Beatrix Potter country), the Cotswolds, and a tiny town called Sedburgh where we stayed in a wheelwright's cottage converted to an inn. Our view out the window overlooked a sheep meadow and a narrow road lined with hedgerows. You just don't GET that in the States (sigh).

Any ideas who you might cast in a movie of Skizzer?

Yes! I've actually given this thought in preparation for your question. Here are my favorites:

Colin Lockwood: Johnny Depp (if he were still with us, Heath Ledger would make a good Colin too)

Adult Claire: Frances O'Connor, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miranda Otto

Adult Becca: Rosamunde Pike

Young Becca: Dakota Fanning


Young Claire: Still pondering…ok...Saoirse Ronan (plays the young girl
in Atonem
ent)

Aunt Jess: This one is tough…I can see her so clearly in my mind, but I can't think of the right actor to play her yet...ok...Cherry Jones

Eugenia Lockwood: Fiona Shaw

Father Maccabee: Michael Gambon

What impact do you hope this book has upon the reader?

Like Claire, I hope they awaken to the reality of God in their lives, whether they have slowly dulled to their once-vibrant faith like she has, or whether they have never considered God as a possibility at all. For all my readers, I would wish for the resurgence of hope in some lost dream--the “fullness of time” moment we all silently long for.

Matters Personal

Do you read much yourself? If so, some favourites, please?

I've constantly got my nose in a book. The most amazing recent book I read was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (a Brit of course…what is it about that English literary heritage?) This is a near-perfect book to me. I both dreaded and delighted to come to its conclusion. I just finished The Rule of Four also, another delightful read by two young American college graduates.

Other favourites: The Starbridge Series by Susan Howatch, Father Melancholy's Daughter by Gail Godwin, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, and my all-time favourites: Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre by the Bronte sisters.

What are you reading at the moment?

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (somehow never read this classic before!)

Favourite movie and favourite line from a movie?

Favourite movie: A Room with a View

Favourite line: “Clever girl” (in Jurassic Park…my oldest daughter and I say this to each other all the time!)

Who inspires you?

Among writers, I'd have to say the Brontes, Susan Howatch, and C.S. Lewis.

Please tell us a little about your family

I grew up in a family of five children, a big, noisy, happy household. Today I'm a single mom with two beautiful teenage daughters, Kate and Emily.

Please share some of your faith journey...

I grew up in a Christian family, and we went to church “every time the doors were open.” That early grounding served me well. I remember asking Jesus into my heart at age 8 (it's written in my childhood Bible), but I strayed from my faith as a teenager. God never let me go, however, and after several years I felt His tugging me back into the sheepfold. At age 21 I had a profound faith awakening that solidified my beliefs and made them my own, not just my parents'. Over the years God has been there, teaching me about love, teaching

me about hope, teaching me about perseverance, but most of all teaching me about His astounding grace.

Some essential Aussie questions

When/if you make the trip Down Under what do you want to see first:~

A platypus or a koala?

Hands-down, a koala!

Barrier Reef or Uluru (Ayers Rock)?

Ayers Rock

A cricket match or a game of Aussie Rules Footy?

I'll have to pick a cricket match because I don't know what Aussie Rules Footy is! J

Any last words?

Our lives are stories; as the apostle Paul said, we are “living epistles”--each with our own story to tell. Thanks for reading, and don't neglect your own story!

Thanks Angie ~ much fun!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

CFBA Blog Tour of A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman and Aussie Giveaway


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Passion Most Pure

(Revell January 1, 2008)

by

Julie Lessman



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure is her first novel.








ABOUT THE BOOK

She's found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister ...

As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O’Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there’s the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin’s affections suddenly shift her way, it threatens to tear Faith's proper Boston family apart.

Refusing to settle for anything less than a romantic relationship that pleases God, Faith O'Connor steels her heart against her desire for the roguish Collin McGuire. Collin is trying to win her sister Charity's hand, and Faith isn't sure she can handle the jealousy she feels. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure is Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series.




Read my review of this fabulous book, here!

Check back soon for my in depth interview with Julie :)

Enter the to win a copy of A Passion Most Pure by meeting the following criteria:~

1. Provide an Australian mailing address

2. Post a comment by midnight Wednesday 6th February

3. Include in your comment what qualities appeal to you in the leading man in a novel? Honesty now, please!?!?!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Interview with Jerome Teel

I had the pleasure of interviewing author and lawyer, Jerome Teel, last year for TitleTrakk.com. I discovered today that I hadn't posted here so sorry Jerome! For those of you interested in the US presidential race, Jerome's blog, Christian Political Fiction, makes for interesting reading - do check it out. Now, here are Jerome's thoughts:~

On Writing…

Please share some of your writing/publishing journey with us.

Jerome: The seed to start writing was planted in 1991 or 1992 (I’ll discuss this more below in response to the next question) but it wasn’t until July 2000 that I began to write. I decided that if I didn’t get started I would never realize my goal of publishing a book. That manuscript was completed in the fall of 2001 and ultimately was my first novel, The Election. I received numerous rejection letters and e-mails, and often thought of giving up on this dream. But I persevered and eventually I was able to sign a publishing contract with Howard Books in December 2004. The Election was released in September 2006.

You are a successful lawyer and a family man - what drove you to add writing to an already demanding schedule?

I attended law school at the University of Mississippi. This was around the time that John Grisham rose to fame. He is also a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law and he and his family moved to Oxford, MS, where the university is located before I graduated. He spoke one day in one of my classes about his publishing journey and the seed was planted in me. I decided at that time that one of my life goals was to write a book. It was about eight years later that I began to write the first words of a manuscript. Often times I thought about giving up but the desire to accomplish this dream never fully went away. And now here I am fifteen years after the seed was planted with two published books.

What project or book are you working on now?

I have an idea for a book that I’ve tentatively titled The Kingmaker and I’ve written a few pages. It is early in the process and I’m waiting to see if the publisher will contract for a third book before I burn the midnight oil writing.

I’m also working on another project that I hope to release in the summer of 2008. I am the board president of a local charity (The Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse) and I’m working on a novel that I hope to release next summer as a fundraiser for the Center.

What does a regular writing day look like for you?

I don’t write every day. With my active law practice, active family and church and community commitments, it is just impossible to write daily. But when I’m in the middle of a project, I typically write late at night. I start writing after 10:00 p.m. (after my family is in bed) and write until about 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. As I near completion of a project I’ll take time away from the office and finish the manuscript.

On The Divine Appointment

There are numerous political and social hot potatoes ~ what made you choose the abortion/pro-life issue?

I think that the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion was a poor decision both constitutionally and morally. And I wanted to point that out in a fictionalized story. But also I think my target audience is politically conservative Christians, the so called “Religious Right”. From a marketing standpoint, I thought they would be attracted to this storyline.

What is your fascination with writing about the often maligned dirty world of politics?

I’ve enjoyed politics since I was a young boy, and it is so intriguing. I’m a political junkie and I think it is important for Christians to be involved in the political process. My purpose behind writing about politics in Christian fiction it to point out to Christians the differences they can make in society by being involved in politics on a local, state and national level.

How hard is it for Christians to be successful and have a positive impact in the political arena, like your character President Richard Wallace, without compromising his or her beliefs/integrity?

It is difficult but there are several Christian politicians out there like Mike Huckabee who is running for president and served two terms as governor of Arkansas, and President Bush. We just need more Christians actively involved in the process and we can change the political arena to where the norm is to have men and women who are Christians serving in key political positions.

If this series was made into a movie, who would you cast?

David White and Kirk Cameron come to mind as potential lead actors.

What impact do you hope this book has upon the reader?

My hope is that Christians will realize the impact they can have on the political process and will become more involved in local, state and national politics. We need Christians serving on school boards all the way up to the White House.

Will we see more of Eli and Jill? If so a sneak peek please?

I doubt it but won’t rule it out. I see a lot of Christian authors who write sequels or a series. Both of my novels (The Election and The Divine Appointment) are stand alone works.

On matters personal…

Do you read Christian fiction yourself? If so, some favourite authors or books both Christian and/or secular?

I enjoyed the Left Behind series by Lahaye and Jenkins. I also enjoy Joel Rosenberg, Jack Cavanaugh and James Scott Bell. Secularly, I’m obviously a John Grisham fan and also enjoy Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading Try Dying by James Scott Bell.

Favourite movie and favourite line from a movie?

My favorite movies are the Star Wars series and any movies based on a Tom Clancy novel or Robert Ludlum novel. My favorite line comes from A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise’s character is questioning Jack Nicholson’s character in the courtroom. Cruise emphatically says, “I want the truth!” and Nicholson screams “You can’t handle the truth!” That’s a classic.

Who inspires you?

This is a tough question. I think my writing style is influenced by writers like John Grisham. I like fast paced, plot driven stories. But influence and inspiration are different. And, I think my inspiration comes from my family.

You are obviously passionate about your family, faith and politics ~ does your dinner table conversation often revolve around these topics?

Sadly, as busy as our lives are we don’t often have time to sit down as a family and eat a meal. It seems that we are always eating on the go. One of the kids always has a practice of some type or a game, or my wife or I have an evening meeting somewhere. And Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings we are at church. So when we do eat together the conversation is more light hearted and usually focused on what is going on in our kids’ lives.

How do you cultivate in your children an awareness of social, political and justice issues?

Our children are 15, 12 and 10. The fifteen year old and the twelve year old pick up on some things but it is probably still a little too early to for the ten year old. But there are some deliberate things my wife and I do to make them aware of the world around them. I’ve taken each of them to a courtroom. We openly talk about why we support one political candidate over another and typically the reason is that one is pro-life and the other is pro-choice. And the kids have begun to associate that with different political parties. We also take our kids along to community events such as fundraisers for the American Cancer Society or the Carl Perkins Center I mentioned above. Our kids have also been involved in raising money or donating money themselves to local charities. And we deliberately and intentionally make sure our children understand that all persons are entitled to respect regardless of their age, color or political party affiliation.

Please share some of your faith journey...

I was reared in a Christian home. My father is a retired Baptist minister and one of my brothers is a minister. My parents had my brothers and me in church every time the doors were open. So we were frequently exposed to the gospel message. When I was fourteen I was on a youth camp trip with our church youth group. During one of the evening services I felt the Holy Spirit moving me and it was at that time that I knelt on my knees and asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart and become my Lord and Saviour.

Some lawyer to lawyer questions... I love your firm’s motto ~ “Attorneys dedicated to Family, Community and Professionalism”. How do you go about applying that?

First and foremost we are dedicated to our families. That means not only the families of the partners but also the families of the other attorneys in our office and staff. All of the attorneys in our office are actively involved in the community by serving in civic clubs, serving on charity boards, and helping raise money for local causes. And many of our staff people are also involved in community and charity events. Lastly, is professionalism, and it is intentionally listed third. We believe that family and community come before business, and we will sacrifice our business to take care of our families and community. But when people do encounter us professionally – whether as a client or colleague – they don’t have to worry about whether they will get quality, ethical service. Our reputation in the area is one of top level, ethical representation.

Lawyer jokes ~ do you laugh, ignore them or make up some of your own?

I always laugh at them because many are hilarious. And when I speak to a group I often open by reading several lawyer jokes.

I practised in personal injury litigation for 12 years and am now practising exclusively in estate planning. You do both (among other things!). What attracts you to these areas of the law?

Our office provides a broad range of services. Although I do handle some personal injury litigation, one of my partners primarily heads up that practice area. I do some simple estate planning but involve another partner if things get too complex. My primary focus is in the areas of social security disability and bankruptcy, and I also serve as the county attorney for our county. I was drawn to social security and bankruptcy work because I get to help people in some of their most desperate times of need. And my itch for politics drew me into seeking the county attorney position.

Some essential Aussie questions...

When/if you make the trip Down Under what do you want to see first? A platypus or a koala?

Koala.

Barrier Reef or Uluru (Ayers Rock)?

Barrier Reef.

You are visiting Australia ~ do you say yes or no to some vegemite on toast?!

NO!! I’ve tried it before!

Thanks Jerome :) Despite your decided view against vegemite this was a great interview - LOL!

The winner of A Proper Pursuit is...

Jaana ~ congratulations on kicking off my 2008 giveaways!

Here are some other fantastic books I will be giving away over the next couple of months:~


Reluctant Smuggler by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Sisters, Ink by Rebeca Seitz

Strike the Dragon by Dyer & Tobey

Red Helmet by Homer Hickam.........and a lot more!

So make sure you subscribe at the top of my sidebar so you don't miss out on the opportunity to enter :)

Monday, 28 January 2008

CFBA Blog Tour of Awaken My Heart by DiAnn Mills


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Awaken My Heart

Avon Inspire (February 5, 2008)

by

DiAnn Mills



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. She is the author of numerous titles including novels, novellas, and a nonfiction. In addition, she's written several short stories, articles, devotions, and has contributed to several nonfiction compilations.

DiAnn believes her readers should "Expect an Adventure." Her desire is to show characters solving real problems of today from a Christian perspective through a compelling story.

Several of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents, and she remains a favorite author by Heartsong Present's readers. Two of her books have won short historical of the year by American Christian Fiction Writers both in 2003 and 2004. She was named Writer of the Year for 2004 at the 35th Annual Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference and is the recipient of Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards for 2005 in the long contemporary and novella categories.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, ChiLibris, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. DiAnn also belongs to Cy Fair Women's Networking, an exclusive professional women's networking organization.

She lives in sunny Houston, Texas, the home of heat, humidity, and Harleys. In fact she'd own one, but her legs are too short. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

1803, the colony of Texas


Awaken My Heart is set in 19th century Texas and tells the story of 18 year old Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, Weston Phillips. Weston is involved in a hostile struggle with Armando Garcia, the infamous rebel leader of the 'mestizos' who claim to own the land that Phillips has settled.

Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, has never agreed with her father's harsh treatment of the poor mestizos who first inhabited the colony of Texas. When rebels kidnap Marianne, in hopes her father will trade back their land for her freedom, she realizes her loyalty lies with her abductors, not her father, who plans to marry her off to the don of a nearby estate.

Armando Garcia is the locals' reluctant leader, but his people revere and depend on him. Knowing that without his leadership they'd be forced from their land, Armando accepts his role, but does not approve of the latest attempt to manipulate their enemy. When he learns that Marianne actually speaks his language, of her loyalty to his people, and of the faith that keeps her strong, Armando is faced with a difficult decision. Will his newfound love keep him from letting her go? Or will he set her free and risk losing their land forever?

Sneak peek at Awaken the Dragon by David Aikman

I loved the cover art for this novel and the premise, too. Read below for more details:~


Richard Ireton, a Hong Kong-based correspondent for America’s top news magazine, is about to discover dangerous new political currents flowing through South China. Assigned to investigate the disappearance of an American businessman, he uncovers the growing influence of Qigong, a Taoist meditation and martial arts movement, among Chinese organized crime gangs and plotting army troops.

This subversively spiritual, anti-foreigner cult rallies around an enigmatic leader, Great Master Wu, posing an imminent threat to peace in Asia and the continent’s relations with the United States. As Ireton’s reporting takes him closer into the story, he stumbles across both a political conspiracy complete with strange spiritual dimensions and secret hideouts of China’s underground Christian church.

Awaken the Dragon is the sequel to Qi, released by Broadman & Holman in 2005.

Sneak peek at Robert Liparulo's Dreamhouse Kings Series

I am always interested in what Robert Liparulo has up his sleeve! Here is a look at the first two books in his 6 book Young Adult series, the Dreamhouse Kings, from Thomas Nelson. I know my nephew and some other young friends of mine will enjoy getting their hands on these stories (and me, too!!)

In this stunning adventure series from acclaimed author Robert Liparulo, a house that is more than meets the eye will change the lives of the King family forever.

When the Kings move to a new home in a new town, the house seems odd at first; but things get really strange when they realize that some rooms are portals to other worlds.

House of Dark Shadows - The Kings face terrifying dangers within the rooms of their home, but it still seems like an adventure until people start coming out of the rooms and into the house. When one of the intruders kidnaps their mother, they must find a way to rescue her-but who would believe such a fantastical story?







Watcher in the Woods - The King Family begins their search, quickly realizing that they must learn more about the worlds in order to find their mother. But they also must pretend that all is well at home. When a stranger appears and tries to force them to sell the house, their desperation reaches new heights.

The four books that follow reveal that there is much more going on—and at stake—than we first realize.

The first two books release simultaneously in July, 2008.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Sneak peek at Coming Unglued by Rebeca Seitz

I will be doing my own little launch of the delightful Rebeca Seitz's Sisters, Ink upon its release in February, 08 with a review, fabulous in-depth author interview and multiple giveaways. Check back soon - it is going to be fun :)

I still couldn't help myself from previewing the gorgeous new cover of the sequel to Sisters, Ink ~ Coming Unglued ~ available July, 08.


Synopsis:~

Coming Unglued is the second book in the SISTERS, INK series of novels written by, for, and about scrapbookers. At the center of the creativity and humor are four unlikely young adult sisters, each separately adopted during early childhood into the loving home of Marilyn and Jack Sinclair.

Ten years after their mother Marilyn has died, the multi-racial Sinclair sisters (Meg, Kendra, Tandy, and Joy) still return to her converted attic scrapping studio in the small town of Stars Hill, Tennessee, to encourage each other through life’s highs and lows. They’ve even turned their artistic passion into a new local scrapbooking business known as Sisters, Ink.

Coming Unglued focuses on painter and musician Kendra who struggles with her sense of self-worth—a struggle that only intensifies when she realizes a “friendship” developed with a guy at a jazz club is actually an emotional affair. With her sisters’ help, Kendra strives to do what’s right, embracing the call to safeguard her heart and mind and hold fast to God’s truth and grace.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

Patrick and Marcy O'Connor have a marriage their daughter, Faith dreams of ~ one of devotion, passion and a shared faith ~ she will settle for nothing less! Then she falls hard for the one man guaranteed to give her the passion she seeks but will fail dismally when it comes to belief in God and fidelity.

Collin McGuire, cheated by death of his father, turned to pursuing his own desires with little compunction regarding the morality or impact of his self-absorbed ways. Chasing after Charity O'Connor, Faith's beautiful little sister, Collin is startled by his attraction to the more sedate Faith and her God-fearing ways.

The O'Connor family is soon torn apart by not only the Great War but the bitter rivalry between two sisters and the man who can't decide between them.

A Passion Most Pure is a prodigious tale of love, desire, betrayal and the power of a transformed heart. Julie Lessman writes with humour and an authenticity readers will clamour for. Faith, Charity and Collins' characters are laid bare, their good qualities together with their faults displayed in a way that is both absorbing and thought provoking. The breathtaking feelings of new love are juxtaposed with the deep feelings of devotion and commitment shared by Patrick and Marcy. In a world where marriage is often trivialised, Julie's portrayal of the steadfastness of a God-centred marriage, despite human failures, and with passion ever present is delightfully refreshing. Complications abound due to heartache, tragedy, new attraction and confused hearts making each of the 477 pages enthralling. It all adds up to a triumphant debut novel for this new must read author!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Coming soon ~ Fatal Deduction by Gayle Roper

Love Gayle's work! Here's a peek at her upcoming release, available from Waterbrook Multnomah in May, 08

Libby Burton longs to be close to her twin sister, Tori, but their lives have taken them in different directions. Forced to share Aunt Stella’s old Philadelphia home in order to receive their inheritance, Libby hopes for a change, but it isn’t looking good so far.

First, Tori tries to steal the affection and allegiance of Libby’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Chloe. Then when a crossword puzzle with a hidden warning shows up on their doorstep, Tori refuses to take it seriously—in spite of the dead man who delivers it.

Libby finds comfort in neighbor Drew Canfield, but he hesitates to trust her after his disastrous marriage. As Libby struggles to act faithfully in the midst of these confusing relationships, she must also deal with a stolen diamond and a botched kidnapping. The answer to her problems lies in the riddles of the crosswords, if only she can solve the puzzle before it’s too late.

To pre-order your copy, click here.

Gayle Roper has been writing mystery and romantic suspense novels for more than thirty years and is the author of over forty-five books. She is a three-time Christy Award finalist, the winner of three Holt Medallions, and the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times magazine. Her novel Autumn Dreams won Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance. She and her husband, Chuck, divide their time between Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada.

CFBA Blog Tour of Fallen by Matthew Raley


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Fallen

(Kregel Publications February 29, 2008)

by

Matthew Raley


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Matthew Raley is senior pastor of the Orland Evangelical Free Church in northern California, where he lives with his wife and two young children. For fun, he enjoys playing chamber music with friends, giving occasional solo recitals, and playing first violin in the North State Symphony. This is his first book.








ABOUT THE BOOK

Jim was at work when his eyes drifted to the coffee shop visible from his office window. An attractive woman driving a Mercedes pulled up to the curb . . . and Jim’s married pastor emerged from the car. When Jim delves deeper into his pastor’s world, will he be able to handle what he discovers? Is he right to suspect that Dave is having an affair? In the behind-the-scenes church battle that ensues, Jim is torn between duty to his church and a desire to show grace. A ripped-from-the-headlines drama of suspense that keeps you engaged to the last page.

Fallen is the story about Jim’s relationship with Dave—how Jim tries to do the right thing to keep Dave accountable, but finds the situation getting worse and worse. It’s also about Jim’s other relationships. Just as he discovers hypocrisy in Dave, Jim discovers his own sins against his wife and daughter.

My take:~

Fallen is a confronting and honest book which exposes the deceit which can creep into a person's life and the depths to which believers can fall. It also offers hope and encourages the reader to take a good hard look at themselves, their motivations and attitude to others. Matthew Raley has written an impressive novel which is well worth reading and pondering for a long time after the book has been closed.

God Wants You to Shine by Stephanie Moore Perry


Life has just begun to look up for Faith Thomas after all the problems she and her family have faced the past year. Faith thought that the New Year would be bliss and that nothing more could possibly go wrong, especially when she lives for God and is going into year nine. Her parents are back on the right track and her family was getting along just fine. But God wants her to face new lessons and they aren’t always easy ones to learn.

Things start to go haywire, her friends start having problems and issues and they start to slowly drift away. When her mum needs Faith to help her modelling agency, Faith’s confidence starts to go down hill and quickly.

During all of the dramas going on there are other little things that add to all of the stress that she has in her life, school grades, boys, cheerleading and some hidden talents.

The Faith Thomas series are well written and after reading the first book I was not sure whether the sequel would as good, but as I started reading God wants you to shine I thought that it if anything it may be even better. Stephanie Perry Moore is a relatively new author to me and is one of the best I know.

I love Faith’s character and the way that she manages to get through all of the difficulties that come her way and that she always relies on God to help her. She is just like a normal teenager that you would see passing you on the street, facing the same things and learning how to cope and to move on.

God wants us to use are gifts for a good purpose and to always honour up to Him, like when Faith sings at the concert with her dad. She is singing for Him and helping everyone to see why she loves Him so much. ‘God Wants You to Shine’ is a perfect title for the book because that is exactly what He wants us to do, He wants us to shine in everything we do even the little things like school work. He wants us to do our best and to do it for Him in everything.


Learn more about Stephanie at her website.


Guest reviewer:~ teen Chloe~Anne

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