Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CFBA Presents - EMBRACE ME by Lisa Samson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Embrace Me
(Thomas Nelson March 4, 2008)
Lisa Samson


Lisa Samson is a Christy Award-winning author of 19 books, including the Women of the Faith Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer. Lisa has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks."

In Embrace Me, the latest novel by acclaimed author Lisa Samson, readers are privy to the realization that regardless of outward appearances…hideous, attractive, or even ordinary…persons are all looking for the same things: love, forgiveness, and redemption.

This story explores a world that is neither comfortable nor safe, a world that people like Valentine know all too well. Masterfully crafted by Samson and populated by her most compelling cast of characters yet, it is a tale of forgiveness that extends into all spheres of life: forgiving others, forgiving oneself, forgiving the past.

She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids.


Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful...a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.

When a "lizard woman," a self-mutilating preacher, a tattooed monk, and a sleazy lobbyist find themselves in the same North Carolina town one winter, their lives are edging precariously close to disaster...and improbably close to grace.

Valentine, due to her own drastic disfigurement, has very few friends in this world and, it appears as if she may be destined to spend the rest of her life practically alone. But life gives her one good friend, Lella, whose own handicap puts her in the same freakish category as Valentine. As part of Roland's Wayfaring Marvel and Oddities Show, a traveling band of misfits, they seem to have found their niches in an often curiously cruel world.

Residing in a world where masks are mandatory, Valentine has a hard time removing hers, because of her disfigured face but more so because of her damaged soul. It is much easier for her to listen endlessly to different versions of a favorite song, Embraceable You, and escape reality. Yet, life has more in store for her when she meets Augustine, replete with tattoos, dreadlocks, and his own secrets. With his arrival, Valentine's soul takes a turn.

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


In her haunting novel, Embrace Me, Lisa Samson presents a cast of unforgettable characters in a stirring metaphor of Christ's body, the Church.

In Chapter One we meet Drew, former power-pastor and TV personality, and current self-mutilator. In Chapter Two, we meet Valentine, the disfigured young woman who becomes the "Lizard Woman" in Roland's Wayfaring Marvels and Oddities sideshow. The story continues, alternating between Drew and Valentine, until their paths finally cross in the most unexpected way.

The irony of our looks-conscious society is that some of the most "beautiful" people have downright ugly souls, and vice versa. Here, Samson examines the things that motivate us, our standards for success, and the pure, cleansing love of the Father. This book is more literary in tone and may make some uncomfortable with its unapologetic look at the church, warts and all. But in the end, you'll be left with a feeling of hope and a renewed sense of the redemption found in God's love.

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