Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What's New In Christian Fiction - November 2007

Here is the November 2007 line-up of new Christian fiction releases! Time to add a few books to your Christmas wish list or find a great gift for a loved one. Also this month, Jill Eileen Smith has a new Spotlight interview with award-winning author Nancy Moser author of the newly released Just Jane. Be sure to stop by and read Nancy's interview and visit the websites of the following authors. Enjoy!

1. A Christmas to Die For Book 2 in The Three Sisters Inn series by Marta Perry from Love Inspired Suspense. A holiday season among the Plain People swarms with hidden danger when an inn owner finds herself the target of a killer.

2. A Matter of Trust by Lisa Harris, from Heartsong Presents. With Ty back in her life, will Kayla be able to trust him when a dark secret comes to light and all evidence of the crime points to him?

3. Faith Awakened by Grace Bridges from Lulu Press and Waitemata Books. In virtual stasis to escape a deadly virus, an ex-slave in Ireland finds far more than just survival.

4. Just Jane by Nancy Moser from Bethany House. Historical novel about the life of author Jane Austen.

5. Standing Strong, Fourth and final book in the Homeland Heroes Series by Donna Fleisher from Zondervan. Four warriors. Two rival gangs. Is faith enough to win peace on the streets of Kimberley Square?

6. The Love of His Brother by Jennifer AlLee from Five Star, a division of Thomson Gale. A young, pregnant widow finds more than just support when her black-sheep brother-in-law comes home.

7. Within This Circle (mass market size) Sequel to A Vow to Cherish by Deborah Raney from Steeple Hill Books. After her mother’s death from Alzheimer’s disease, Jana McFarlane struggles to cope with her roles as wife and mother.

Happy reading~

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The View From Vegas: Over The Rainbow

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Since I live in such a unique town, I thought it would be nice to share some of it with my cyber friends. What you see here is a shot of the famous Bellagio fountains and the Paris Hotel across the street. If you look closely, you'll see a rainbow in the fountain mist. Pretty cool, huh?

This city is such a dichotomy... You've got the glitz and glamour of the strip, and just a couple blocks behind it are run down buildings and trashy open lots. The streets are teaming with visitors from all over the world, equal in their desire to hit the big one. And on almost every corner and freeway ramp are the pan handlers, their cardboard signs worn from frequent use. And sometimes, right in the middle of the Las Vegas strip, you see a rainbow. It's a nice reminder that God lives here, too.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Last Chance to Win a FREE Book!

They say the word FREE is an attention grabber. It must be, since you, oh lovely reader, have found your way into this blog. But it's not just a marketing gimmick... I really am giving away a free book.

"So how do I enter?"

I'm so glad you asked. Just go to my website and sign up for my e-newsletter. Not only will you be entered to win a copy of my new (and first) novel, The Love of His Brother but you'll also get occasional updates on what I'm up to, as well as other interesting writerly things. Just go to and scroll down to the bottom of the home page for the newsletter subscription box.

Hurry, I'll be pulling names out of... something... on November 1st!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Week Later and the Sucking Has Stopped!

Exactly one week ago I had myself a little blogging pitty party about my spider bite and banged up toe. Since ya'll were so kind to let me dump my baggage, I thought it would be nice to follow up and say how great I feel today!

Last Tuesday I saw my wonderful doctor. After he finished scolding me for not having someone look at my arm sooner, he gave me a perscription for an antibiotic and sent me on my way. I'm happy to report that I no longer look like I escaped from the leper colony (no offense intended to any lepers out there). The rash is all gone as is most of the itching. However my skin is peeling like crazy, so now I just look like I'm recovering from a sunburn.

My toe is slowly coming along. If you've ever stubbed a toe before bad enough to bruise it, you know what I mean. But it's much better than last week.

To top it all off, when I was going over part of my WIP yesterday, I discovered that I had two chapters marked "4" which means I have one more chapter than I thought I had. Cool! Even though it didn't change the length of the WIP, or how many chapters I have left to write, it still felt like a little gift, like finding $10 you forgot you had in your jeans pocket.

Praise God for He is good... He was good even when I felt lousy, and He's good now as I bask in an abundance of chapters. I wonder what tomorrow will bring...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's A Matter of Perspective

For the last week or so, I've been struggling through a scene in my current book. I'd write something, then get rid of it. Then I'd write something else, but it didn't work either. Yesterday, it hit me like the proverbial brick... I was writing the scene in the wrong POV (that's "point of view" for those of you who aren't obsessed with craft issues). As soon as I switched to the POV of my heroine, the whole thing fell into place. Boy, did that feel good!

You know, I do that in my day-to-day life, too. Sometimes, I'll struggle to deal with something ("How could she talk to me that way?") until I finally look at the situation from the other person's point of view. Then, even though I still might not appreciate it, I can at least start to understand it.

How about you? Have you ever needed to change your POV, either in writing or real life? Give it a try... It's amazing what a different perspective can do for you!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Well This Sucks...

As a person who's had a chronic illness since childhood (diagnosed with rhuemetoid arthritis at age 10) I don't usually let physical issues get me down. If something hurts, you deal with it and move on, right? Right! But today, I'm letting myself wallow... just a little.

See, three weeks ago, I was in Dallas for the ACFW conference. It was great, but I had physical challenges the whole time. Mainly, a sinus headache that started as soon as I got to the hotel on Wednesday, and went away as soon as I went to the airport on Sunday. I ventured out of the hotel only once during that time, Friday night, and managed to get a mosquito bite. That wasn't a big deal, though. It hardly even itched. So I moved on.

Two weeks ago, I realized that the "mosquito bite" (because now I'm pretty convinced something else bit me) had a red ring around it and itched A LOT. By the next day, the ring had turned into a rash, and now, one week later, that rash covers a five inch area of my arm. And it still itches. A LOT! But I dealt with it, and moved on.

The thing that finally did it to me, the proverbial "last straw" if you will, was when I stubbed my toe two days ago. It was one of those things that as soon as it happens, you want to smack yourself because of the stupidity of it. I ran into a table in my living room, a table that's been in the same spot for a year. It's not like I didn't know it was there. So now my pinky toe is black and blue and screaming in pain. But the thing that irks me the most is that I was going to take my son to the Renaissance Festival this weekend, and now I can't. His dad will take him, so he'll still get to go, but I'm bumming because I was looking forward to it, too.

I will move on from this. The rash will go away and the toe will heal. But for right now, I'd like to wallow just a little. Maybe eat some ice cream and watch some mindless TV. Then I'll hobble back to my desk, with my box to prop my foot on and my ice pack for my itchy arm, and I may even write something new... hmmm, I'm thinking of a heroine who gets a bad case of poison ivy... hmmm...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Trip Home

Two Sundays ago I was in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, making my way home from the ACFW conference (which, by the way, was an awesome experience). Airports are interesting places, particularly if you like to eavesdrop on people, a trait for which we writers are infamous.

So I'd been sitting in the airport for about an hour, reading Sharon Hinck's The Restorer (which was incredible) when I heard this conversation behind me:

MALE: "Hey, I just wanted to say goodbye to you guys before you left."
OLDER WOMAN: "You're so sweet. How'd the auditions go?"
MALE: "Pretty good. We had a couple thousand people and narrowed it down to a hundred."

Okay, I'll admit, my radar picked up at the word "auditions." Immediately I figure out, based on the amount of people who showed up for audition, that it must have been for American Idol. Now I'm curious, figuring that the man behind me is part of the production staff. So I casually turn around, and there is Ryan Seacrest. Well whatcha know! Then I turned back around and opened my book again. That was fun.

I figured that was the most interesting thing that would happen to me, but I was wrong. My seatmate on the plane turned out to be a 19 year old guy who smuggled in some Popeye's chicken (actually, you're allowed to bring food on the plane, but he wasn't taking any chances, so he kept it stashed in his backpack until we took off). I didn't figure this was a person that was going to want to talk during the trip, which was fine by me, 'cuz I had my book. But again, I was wrong.

Turns out Thomas was on his way to Las Vegas not for vacation, but to meet a buddy and then drive from there to Fort Irwin, near Barstow, California. From there, he was being deployed to Iraq. Thomas has a grandmother in South Carolina. He said that the scariest things in Iraq aren't IEDs, it's the booby traps that are set up where you don't expect them. He said that even though a lot of people don't think we should be in Iraq, he feels it's more important that we fight over there than to let the war come to American soil. He told me a lot of stuff.

As I listened to this young man, who's only 5 years older than my own son, my heart began to ache. I don't want to make a political statement one way or the other, but I think we can all agree that no one likes to send men and women off into such a dangerous situation. But nothing makes it resonate like meeting someone who's going there. Until I talked to Thomas, I had no physical, flesh and blood connection to our troups. Now, after 2 1/2 hours flying from Dallas to Vegas, I do.

Before we got off the plane, I gave Thomas my business card (and assured him that I was old enough to be his mother, just so he wouldn't get scared that I was trying to pick him up!) I told him to send me an email if he ever wanted to talk or if he and his buddies needed prayer. I doubt I'll ever hear from him, even though he put the card in his pocket. But I can still pray for him, and I do.