CJ Darlington has tagged me to play this fun book meme.
Grab the book nearest you, turn to page 56 and go to the fifth sentence, typing that sentence and a few others around it.
For me it was a toss up as to which of the books that surround to pick up! The lucky book was Fireproof by Eric Wilson
Page 56, sentence 5:
"That sounded like surrender, like giving up. But who was Caleb fooling?"
I now tag Tracy, Cee Cee, Jennifer, Deborah & Ausjenny
Sunday, 30 November 2008
CJ Darlington has tagged me to play this fun book meme.
Friday, 28 November 2008
Fashioned by the hand of God and the rib of man, the first woman’s story was born, one of exquisite joy and crushing heartbreak that would forever shape the destiny of all humankind.
Havah and the Adam live a life of beauty and ultimate harmony in the Garden created by the One for his creation. Communing as one with their Creator, the animals, the earth and its overflowing bounty, joy and peace fill their souls until that fateful day. A day when temptation and desire collided with the enticing allure of the serpent’s honeyed words. Their idyllic world shatters and turns against them and Havah and her Adam find themselves alone in a hostile and barren world.
Guilt, accusation and bitterness replace joy, harmony and delight as the Adam and Havah attempt to come to terms with their separation from the One and begin their life long journey hoping to return to the Garden and the refuge found in their Creator.
Tosca Lee’s latest novel, Havah is destined to become a classic in the vein of Francine River’s Redeeming Love. Spanning Adam’s creation, their expulsion from the garden, Abel’s murder and the passing of Adam, Havah is an epic and explosive novel. Stunning prose and evocative imagery hallmark this retelling of life’s beginnings through the heart and voice of Eve, known as Havah.
I have selected Havah for my Book Club in 2009 and I can’t wait for the discussion it will generate.
Thanks to the wonderful folk at Glass Road PR, I have a copy of Havah to give away. To enter:
1. Post a comment before midnight on Sunday 7th December, 2008
2. Tell me which old testament story you would like to read in a novel or one you already have read and enjoyed.
This giveaway is open to all my readers :)
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Today the spotlight shines on........................................................... Gabriel Laniere
I have loved Beth White's stories since reading her novella, The Trouble with Tommy, in the anthology, Sweet Delights. You will have to wait a little longer for Tommy's spotlight but for now I have Beth's latest leading man, Gabriel Laniere from her recent release, Redeeming Gabriel. Enjoy!
Brief physical description
Gabriel Laniere, hero of Redeeming Gabriel, is half Creek Indian, half French-Canadian. He's dark-complected, dark-eyed, with black hair. As the foster son of a blacksmith, he's tall and strongly built. Think Michael Greyeyes...
Strengths and weaknesses
Having trained as a physician, Gabriel is a brilliant scientist and linguist, which leads to a somewhat cocky attitude - especially since, at the beginning of the story he is pretty far away from God. He is a chameleon, able to charm or intimidate as the need arises (he is a spy for the Union navy). But....as God gets his attention and he falls in love with Camilla Beaumont, going his own way begins to seem less and less a good idea.
Your inspiration for the character.
I dreamed up Gabriel nearly ten years ago when I visited the Mobile Museum and learned a bit about the Hunley submarine, a Civil War vessel built on the Gulf Coast, then sent by rail to Charleston, South Carolina, where it sank a Union gunboat. I knew I wanted to write a spy story with some medical elements. As I studied Mobile history, I became fascinated with the fate of the Creek Indians who were forced to leave South Alabama just before the Civil War began. So Gabriel's character took on a little of all those elements....and he became an intelligent, exotic and charismatic man worthy of my abolitionist heroine.
Spying for the Union army has taken a heavy toll on Gabriel Laniere. With deception a constant in his life, he can't allow himself to get close to anyone- not even God. Yet Camilla Beaumont, daughter of the Confederacy, just might be the exception. Camilla has a dangerous secret that rivals Gabriel's...and the unlikely partnership they forge could be the key Gabriel seeks to a soul-shaking truth larger than any conflict-love.
Thanks Beth - I really liked Gabriel! You do know how to create great leading men with substance and style!
On Monday, the spotlight will shine twice!
Once on Linda Leigh Hargrove's Isaac Hunt and twice with a special Christmas spotlight on Kevin Alan Milne's fascinating characters from The Paper Bag Christmas.
Tricia Goyer, a wife, mother, “Generation Xer” and author of 18 books including “Generation NeXt” series, “From Dust and Ashes,” “My Life UnScripted” and the children’s book, “10 Minutes to Showtime.” She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Goyer’s book “Life Interrupted” was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Goyer writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like Today's Christian Woman and Focus on the Family. She is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions.
“Authors at Abunga” Weekly Online Chat with Tricia Goyer at Abunga.com, an online bookstore offering more than 2 million family-friendly materials.
Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008
11 a.m. – Noon PST / 1 – 2 p.m. CST / 2 – 3 p.m. EST (LIVE)
Couples and parents today face challenges that no other generation has experienced. On the Abunga.com chat, Goyer will be available to discuss marriage, parenting and life as a “Gen Xer” – topics she has written about in her books, “Generation NeXt Marriage: The Couple’s Guide to Keeping it Together” and “Generation NeXt Parenting: A Savvy Parent’s Guide to Getting it Right.” She can answer questions about today’s marriage role models and what “Gen X” is doing right, and give parents practical tips on how to lay a firm foundation while raising up the next generation. For information, visit http://abunga.com/
Abunga.com is an online bookstore founded to provide families a protected shopping environment. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Abunga.com offers safety with more than 2 million family-friendly titles; savings through distributor-direct prices and support to nonprofit organizations by donating 5 percent of each transaction to a consumer-selected charity. For more information, visit www.Abunga.com.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
What is it about?
The death of Gaylen Syler-Boatwright’s father sees her return home to Boiling Waters, North Carolina for his funeral. The Syler’s are a dysfunctional family set on petty arguments and spreading stories and rumours about one another. Gaylen’s sister, Delia, is chaos going somewhere to happen. The two sisters find themselves on the run from Delia’s mistakes and discover a series of painted dresses, framed and hung in a late Aunt’s cabin. Upon closer inspection, Gaylen discovers that each dress has a story of its own, and it is these stories that send she and Delia on a journey of discovery.
What I thought:
Patricia Hickman plumbs the depths of family secrets and dysfunction in ‘’. This novel, 'Painted Dresses' based on her own experience, exposes the shadows that families hide and the lies they use to protect their pride and later generations from a darkness that would threaten to swallow them whole. It is a heartbreaking tale of discovery and facing the family demons. Yet beyond the heartbreak there is healing and hope for a positive future.
Gaylen and Delia are a study in opposites. Where Gaylen is careful, mature and responsible Delia is haphazard, childish and rebellious. Gaylen feels that her life is falling apart around her ears, whereas Delia has an unrealistic impression that Gaylen’s life is perfect and that Gaylen herself has it all together. Patricia portrays their relationship so realistically that I found it easy to relate the story to my own sibling relationships, because every family has its ‘moments’!
I loved the way Patricia uses Aunt Amity’s painted dresses to propel Gaylen and Delia on their journey, seeking the truths about their family that have long been hidden. It seemed that those works of art gave the family members and friends involved permission to share the secrets that surrounded the dress’s inclusion in Amity’s collection, thus encouraging Gaylen in her search for the truth.
Patricia skillfully draws ‘Painted Dresses’ to a satisfying conclusion that left me able to imagine both Gaylen and Delia reaching forward towards good things in their futures.
Guest reviewer:~ my dear friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
There’s never a dull moment in the Y’Barbo household! From hockey and cheer mom to publicist to bestselling author, Kathleen Y’Barbo somehow manages to do it all - and well. While wearing her publicist’s hat, Kathleen has secured interviews with radio, television, and print media for clients at NavPress, Hatchette, Integrity, Barbour Publishing, and Broadman & Holman, to name a few. She also brings her own unique blend of Southern charm and witty prose to the more than 350,000 award-winning novels and novellas currently in print. Her novels have been nominated for American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006; and 2007 will see the release of her 25th book.
Kathleen is a tenth-generation Texan and a mother of three grown sons and a teenage daughter. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Kathleen is a former treasurer for the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, Inspirational Writers Alive, Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild, and the Fellowship of Christian Authors. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker, and her kids think she’s a pretty cool mom, too…most of the time, anyway.
The first book in this series is Beloved Castaway.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Beloved Captive, go HERE.
Monday, 24 November 2008
Sandra Byrd is a prolific author, writing for tweens, teens and now grown ups! I adore her French Twist series and am now seeking out her tween books for my eldest daughter for Christmas...shh...don't tell her!
I hope you enjoy getting to know Sandra and the wonderful French pastires she describes in her adult trilogy, Let Them Eat Cake, Bon Appetit and coming in 2009, Piece de Resistance.
Over to you, Sandra:~
If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?
You know, my parents had considered naming me Wendy, too. I like Wendy. I like Sandra, too.
Your first pet's name?
Well, if you disinclude the Monarch butterfly that I adopted as a kid and named Henry VIII, we'd have to pick my current dog, Brie.
Your best friend's name in primary (elementary) school?
Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.
Yes, a Mrs. Beasley doll. I already had a dramatic flair as a child. I remember promising her that if I died, she'd be buried with me. I still have her, though we're both very much above ground, still!
If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?
If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)
Freshly made lemonade.
What's your favourite ice cream flavour?
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A beautician, a waitress, or an author. I got two out of three.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I'd spend a summer month in England.
Besides God, who has influenced you the most?
My husband, hands down. Whenever I wonder if God really loves me I look at the gift of my husband and know that He does.
What's one (or more!) of your favourite books?
Oh dear, for an author, that's like asking who my favourite child or cousin is! Right now I'm on a British reading bend, so let's say Sharon Kay Penman is up there for historical fiction. The Little House on the Prairie books influenced me to become a writer. One of the first things I did with royalty money after I was published was to buy a complete, dustjacketed first edition set of the series. And I went back and visited her home in South Dakota last year.
What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?
A latte in the morning before I work. I'm a Seattleite, after all!
What's one (or more!)of your favourite movies?
I asked my kids to buy My Big Fat Greek Wedding for me for Christmas this year. Oopa!
The Navajo Indian Reservation.
What's your most fervent prayer?
That my children hold tightly to their Lord and their faith and that they marry people who do, too.
What's the bravest thing you've ever done?
Submit my work for publication. Over and over again. Read reviews from people who don't know me or or my heart for readers. Those are the bravest things all writers do. Raising teenagers. J
Most Christians, including myself, would say salvation. And while that's true, the one I realize and appreciate each day is the gift of hope. Because the world is a pretty hard place without hope. I also like the antique sewing machine my grandmother passed down to me.
What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?
Now faith is the assurance of things) hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1. I love it because it encapsulates the daily life of a Christian living in a world not our home and worshiping an intangible God.
What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?
Using the word, “pulchritude” in a speech before the student body so I would sound learned and coming off as weird instead.
How did your husband propose to you?
Over cheesecake. It went uneaten. J
The French Twist Series................
How did Lexi come by her Francophile nature?
Her grandmother is Italian and so multiculturalism was all around her. Watching Hunchback of Notre Dame didn't hurt. Or Cinderella as a kid, and Ever After as a teen.
Please describe Lexi, Dan, Philippe, Celine, Patricia and Anne in 5 words or less
Lexi: Chocolate Mousse: everyone likes it
Dan: Mille Feuille: many surprising layers
Philippe: Macaron: Not what you expect
Celine: Galette: Sweet with a surprise
Patricia: Baguette: Tough outside, tender inside
Anne: Croissant: Typically French, enjoyable everyday
What do you hope readers take away from these stories?
An understanding of the French people, a realization that we can be cultural Christians just like anyone else, an idea that we have to draw near to God in order for Him to draw near to us. The realization that God both plants and fulfils our dreams.
Favourite French pastry?
Almond Croissants. Mmm.
Most romantic spot in Paris?
Walking along the Seine, especially the tree covered areas. They've done such a good job keeping a low-profile city, no high rises, really, till you get further out. It's lovely.
Can you give us a sneak peek at Piece de Resistance?
I can tell you that I've hopefully left every single character in a place that we'll all want them to live forever in our minds. And that nothing is easy. But that everything is worthwhile. Also, takes place in BOTH Seattle and Paris.
What is in your writing pipeline after Lexi's trilogy is complete?
Right now I'm working on a tweener series called London Confidential. It's great fun! And then I'm hoping to follow that up with an adult series, one I've wanted to write for at least a decade…
Please check out my books at www.sandrabyrd.com....
Thanks Sandra for sharing with us! Hanging out for the end of Lexi's story :)
Relz Reviewz Extras
Lissa Mansfield is going to a new school, Spencer Academy. A school for kids who have trust founds and parents with money. Lissa is used to being the popular one, who everyone supposedly likes. Much to Lissa’s disgust this spot at Spencer Academy is already taken by Vanessa Talbot. Lissa will do anything in her power to become Vanessa’s new best friend.
Lissa’s new room mate is Gillian Chang. Just like Lissa she is a Christian but doesn’t leave her faith to herself, she is determined to try and tell everyone about God. Gillian tries to help Lissa when she sees her struggling with her faith, but Lissa won’t take it. She’s going to do whatever she wants and no one is going to stop her. Callum McCloud is Lissa’s new boyfriend, and now that she’s in the ‘in’ group nothing could be better, but when Callum pressures Lissa to go all the way, will she?
Will she stand up for her faith or will she fall into the trap of today’s world?
It’s All About Us is not like books that I have read before because it is based on a rich girl who goes to a school for rich kids. Shelley Adina has done an excellent job writing this book and I can’t wait until I read the other books in the series. This book shows us that even as Christians we still make mistakes and have to face the consequences. We always need Christian friends no matter what you are doing or where you are. Christian friends are what God gave us for support in out walk of faith and to help us stay in a relationship with God. The novel also gives us insight to what can happen if you don’t spend much time with God. We start falling away from him and start to find it harder to make the right decisions because we don’t think things through clearly like we should. When we become far away from God we start making poor decisions.
It’s All About Us has a lot of things that relate to what Christian teenagers struggle with. Shelley Adina has done an extremely good job of including it in the book. The story was very well written and I recommended it to people teenagers over 14.
Guest reviewer: teen Chloe~Anne
Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Shelley's website
I am delighted to offer a set of all three the All About Us series, including the January release, Who Made You a Princess? to one of my readers, thanks to the generosity of Faithwords.
1. You must have a North Amercian postal address;
2. Post a comment by midnight Sunday 7th December, 2008
3. Tell me which movie or tv star you were desperate to meet when you were a teenager!
Today the spotlight shines on.................................................................Paul Tilden
The lovely and amazingly talented Marlo Schalesky is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her fifth child and her first son as I prepare this post and unless he makes an appearance overnight I won't have news on that front!
Beyond the Night is Marlo's first book in her new Love Stories with a Twist series and Paul is an unforgettable character. We recently discussed this book at my Book Club - it was a great selection.
Brief physical description
Tall, lanky, athletic, sandy hair, green eyes. Think Paul Bettany.
Strengths and weaknesses:
Paul is funny, caring, a great friend. But he doesn’t want to commit, and he doesn’t want to fall in love. Not again. So what’s he going to do when he finds himself falling for his best friend – a girl named Maddie who’s going blind?
Quirk (if any):
For Paul, I wanted a guy who didn’t take himself or others too seriously, someone who could joke and laugh, and yet would be a good friend when Maddie started to go blind. The character of “Charles” that Paul Bettany played in the movie A Beautiful Mind seemed to be just that sort of guy – someone who wouldn’t walk away when friendship got tough, yet someone who would bring laughter and perspective to a friend suffering from a physical malady.
Background to the story:
They say love is blind. This time, they’re right.
A poignant love story . . .
A shocking twist . . .
A woman lies unconscious in a hospital bed. A man sits beside her. Between them shimmers a memory, so gentle, so precious that even darkness cannot dim it. Together, they remember a girl losing her sight, and the boy who learned to love her. They remember the beginning of darkness, the edge of fear. They remember an evening at the symphony, a wild night in Yosemite, a walk beside the Charles River in the starlight. They remember the first time he kissed her. And the night that changed everything.
But time has passed. Change has come. Now, life takes its final breaths. Darkness deepens. And mystery awaits… beyond the night.
Thanks Marlo ~ praying your little one arrives safely and soon! Break out the blue clothes - LOL!
On Thursday I am spotlighting another male lead character from one of my all time favourite authors ~ Elizabeth White and her intriguing Gabriel Laniere from her latest novel, Redeeming Gabriel.
Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Beyond the Night
Thursday, 20 November 2008
I am so excited to preview Amy Wallace's final book in her Defenders of Hope series and can't wait to read it. I've had a soft spot for Michael ever since Ransomed Dreams!
Also, having enjoyed Wanda's previous suspense trilogy, I am looking forward to the first book in her Prodigal Recovery series, Shepherd's Fall.
Both books release in April, 2009 from Waterbrook Multnomah.
Enduring Justice by Amy Wallace
A PAINFUL PAST
Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her memories.
A RACIALLY-MOTIVATED KILLER
As a Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. Difficult cases and broken relationships have plagued his entire year. But when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.
A LIFE-ALTERING CHOICE
A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. The dividing line between the two is the choice to heal. But when the attack turns personal, is justice enough?
Shepherd's Fall by Wanda Dyson
He is about to face the hunt of a lifetime.
Bounty hunter Greg Price is fearless when it comes to chasing down criminals. It’s his difficult ex-wife, rebellious teenage daughter, and dysfunctional siblings that keep him awake at night. In charge of the family business, the Prodigal Recovery Agency, he thinks of himself as a shepherd of sorts. When his “flock” is out of his control, Greg’s well-ordered universe falls into chaos.
Danger comes too close to home.
Prodigal Recovery’s search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, complicating Greg’s business. He is thrown together with Zeena’s twin, the beautiful Annie, and the two find themselves on a desperate search. The stakes significantly increase when Greg’s daughter is kidnapped.
Can the shepherd stand?
Greg and Annie unwittingly uncover a drug trafficking ring that further condemns the kidnapper. Now, to save someone he loves, Greg must risk everything…but will it be enough?
Today the spotlight shines on...................................... Gabby St Claire & Co
Christy Barritt's Squeaky Clean Mystery series is fabulous and unique. Christy herself shares the same qualities! How do I know? Well, Christy is A Peek at My Bookshelf's Author of the Month so drop by Deena's blog to discover more about this talented author.
In the meantime, enjoy Christy's thoughts on her characters below:~
Gabby St Claire
Gabby St. Claire has a sweet, heart-shaped face that belies her inner oddball. She has curly red hair that’s hard to tame. She loves to wear snarky T-shirts and flip flops. Think Alyson Hannigan with curly hair.
Gabby is smart, tough and authentic—even when being authentic isn’t flattering.
She has awful taste in men and often enjoys working with the dead more than the living.
She’s always quoting the lyrics to her favorite songs.
I did an interview with a real life crime scene cleaner, and, after hearing his stories, I just knew I had to write a mystery series with a crime scene cleaner as the protagonist. I wish I had some great insight as to how Gabby herself developed. I started writing the series with the thought of incorporating a character who had an interest in forensics—CSI was really hot at the time. I’m NOT a plotter, so I always let my stories take on a life of their own. That’s exactly what happened with Gabby and company. I started writing the stories and they just kind of emerged on the pages. Hazardous Duty was born.
Logical, kind, compassionate, spiritual
Sometimes his kindness puts him in tough situations.
He wants to help people but often gets himself in a pickle in the process
Sierra is of Asian heritage, petite with plastic framed glasses and a pierced nose. Think Keiko Agena
She’s smart—she graduated from Yale. She’s also very passionate about her cause as an animal right’s activist.
She’s not really a people person. In fact, she’s writing a book called “Stupid People.” Much prefers animals.
Everything centers around her desire to make life better for the animals of the world
I did an interview with a well known animal rights activist group. I went to their headquarters, which was really eye opening. They had pictures of dead animals everywhere, I guess so they could be reminded of the cruelty they’re fighting. Sierra grew from my experience at the headquarters. She continues to be one of my readers' favorite characters!
Background to the story:
Since I already kinda mentioned where I got the inspiration for the series, I’ll tell you the background to Suspicious Minds, the second book in the Squeaky Clean Series. I’m a reporter for my local newspaper. I did an interview with an Elvis impersonator and I couldn’t believe the fanfare around him. Everyone treated him like he really was Elvis! He even had his own fan club. Crazy stuff. I knew I had to use an Elvis impersonator in one of my stories one day. So, Suspicious Minds opens when Gabby, my crime scene cleaner, finds a dead Elvis impersonator, in the crawl space of an old home. The mystery ensues from there!
On Monday I will be spotlighting Paul Tilden from Marlo Schalesky's moving story, Beyond the Night and might even have some news to share on the Schalesky's newest family member!
Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Christy's website
Check back soon for my review of Suspicious Minds