Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CFBA Presents - DRAGONLIGHT by Donita K. Paul

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(WaterBrook Press - June 17, 2008)
Donita K. Paul


Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.”

She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops.

“God must have imprinted 'teacher' on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.”

Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh.

Donita is an award-winning author of the Dragon Keeper Chronicle series including DragonFire and DragonKnight.

When not writing, she is often engaged in mentoring writers of all ages. Donita lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she is learning to paint–walls and furniture! Visit her website at


The fantastic land of Amara is recovering from years of war inflicted on its citizens by outside forces–as well as from the spiritual apathy corroding the Amarans’ hearts. With Kale and her father serving as dragon keepers for Paladin, the dragon populace has exploded. It’s a peaceful, exciting time of rebuilding. And yet, an insidious, unseen evil lurks just beneath the surface of the idyllic countryside.

Truth has never been more important, nor so difficult to discern.

As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons as helpers throughout the kingdom, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon–despite physical limitations resulting from his bout with the stakes disease–has become a leader, serving on the governing board under Paladin. When Kale and Bardon set aside their daily responsibilities to join meech dragons Regidor and Gilda on a quest to find a hidden meech colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy… can they overcome the ominous peril they can’t even see?

Prepare to experience breathtaking adventure and mind-blowing fantasy as never before in this dazzling, beautifully-crafted conclusion to Donita K. Paul’s popular DragonKeeper Chronicles fantasy series.

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

"DragonLight is a delight, but I wouldn't expect anything less from the marvelous Donita K. Paul. I heartily recommend her books to all ages who love inspirational fantasy and wonderful creatures. Ms Paul not only supplies imagination and talent, she provides heart and soul. Another winner!"
~KATHRYN MACKEL, author of Boost

"Donita K. Paul is amazing! DragonLight has the allegorical depth to satisfy the most discerning adult seeking spiritual depth, yet it is fun enough to fascinate a child. This book will enthrall, uplift, and if allowed, change lives--as we are gently drawn to realize that each of us is flawed and must have patience with other flawed believers."
~HANNAH ALEXANDER, author of Double Blind

Today I'm pleased to present a guest reviewer, my very discerning fifteen-year-old son, Billy. Here's what he has to say about DragonLight:)

DragonLight is an amazing conclusion to a great series. Throughout the book are solid characters that are realistic, and readers will find themselves caring about what happens to the heroes. To say the plot is very well written would be a massive understatement. There are many deep, thought-provoking elements weaved into the story as well. This book will not leave readers unsatisfied, and is well worth reading more than once.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CFBA Presents - THE FALCON & THE SPARROW by M. L. Tyndall

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Falcon And The Sparrow
(Barbour Publishing, Inc - August 1, 2008)
M. L. Tyndall


M. L. (MARYLU) TYNDALL grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more.

After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart.

Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable.

One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she'd only give her heart to Him completely.

Her current releases in the Legacy of The Kings Pirates series include:The Restitution, The Reliance, and The Redemption


When Mademoiselle Dominique Dawson sets foot on the soil of her beloved homeland, England, she feels neither the happiness nor the excitement she expected upon her return to the place of her birth. Alone for the first time in her life, without family, without friends, without protection, she now faces a far more frightening prospect, for she has come to the country she loves as an enemy-a spy for Napoleon.

Forced to betray England or never see her only brother alive again, Dominique has accepted a position as governess to the son of Admiral Chase Randal, a harsh man, still bitter over the loss of his wife. Will Dominique find the strength she needs through God to follow through with the plan to rescue her brother? Will Chase find comfort for his bitter heart in God's arms and be able to love again?

And what new deceptions will they both find in France when they arrive to carry out their plan?

If you would like to read an excerpt of The Falcon And The Sparrow, go HERE


I'm about halfway through The Falcon and the Sparrow so I don't have a review yet. But let me say this: Normally, I wouldn't pick up a book set during the Napoleonic conflict. It's just not a time in history that grabs my attention. Having said that, I am so glad I have the opportunity to read The Falcon and the Sparrow. The writing is crisp and tight, sweeping the reader along as Dominique encounters one harrowing situation after another. This is the first of Tyndall's books I've read, and I'm now a fan! Come back to the blog on August 11th when I'll have an interview with M. L. (MaryLu) Tyndall, a book giveaway, and a full review.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Meet Trish Perry - Interview & Book Giveaway

PhotobucketIt’s my great pleasure to present author Trish Perry. I met Trish last year at the ACFW conference in Dallas when we were in the shuttle bus on the way back to the airport. So, we just barely met, but she made a great impression on me. You can be sure this year I’m going to hunt her down before it’s time to go home!


The author of Beach Dreams (2008), Trish Perry lives in Northern Virginia with her hilarious teenaged son. She discovered her love of writing while earning a degree in Psychology. She switched career paths in 1997 and never looked back. Her debut novel, The Guy I'm Not Dating, placed second in the 2007 FHL Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, and her second novel, Too Good to Be True, is a current finalist in the 2008 FHL IRCC. To learn more about Trish and her novels, visit her web site:


JA: Your latest book is Beach Dreams. Please tell us about it.
TP: Beach Dreams involves two of the characters from my past novels. Tiffany LeBoeuf was the bad girl up until the end of the second book (Too Good to Be True), and even then, she just squeaked by—barely accepted The Truth before The End! Jeremy Beckett is a delightfully charming hunk from England who constantly seeks Ms. Right in all the wrong places. I just love the guy, and I get comments from plenty of women who want to come to Northern Virginia and find him, LOL! Circumstances throw these unlikely romantic leads together in Beach Dreams, and it’s fun watching their relationship grow from dislike to friendship to romance. Complicating matters are both of their fathers and Jeremy’s dishonest girlfriend, each of whom have secrets that are revealed at the beach house.

JA: Your heroine, Tiffany, has gone through a lot of upheaval in her life. What’s the hardest, or easiest, thing about putting your characters in heart-wrenching situations?
TP: There’s that balance you want to achieve in a Christian character, between the sinner she will always be and the believer who has given her life to the Lord. With a new Christian like Tiffany, it’s not quite as difficult, because she can get away with being truly rough around the spiritual edges without turning the reader off. But some readers want their Christian characters perfect, while other readers feel Christian characters aren’t imperfect enough. The opinion is very subjective, and the best we writers can hope for is to write the characters the way we feel the Lord leads us to. What I always liked about writing Tiffany was that it didn’t take much to show why she turned out as she did, prior to her acceptance of Christ. I’d like to write unlikeable characters more often (or what readers might consider unlikeable). I find them interesting.

Trish Perry - Beach DreamsJA: Originally, you intended for this book to be set in Northern Virginia. How did the location switch to San Diego?
TP: The crux of the story was that it had to involve Tiffany and Jeremy. Because my first two books took place in Northern Virginia, I was going to keep Tiff and Jeremy’s story there, and that’s how I started writing it. But when Harvest House asked if I would write the book under The Beach House Series—which always takes place at the same beach house in San Diego—I needed to get our hero and heroine to the other side of the country! Since they weren’t even friends, let alone married, I certainly couldn’t have them staying together at the beach house. So the entire plot changed, and I really loved what happened with it.

JA: What do you hope people take away after reading Beach Dreams?
TP: First off, I hope they’re entertained. I try to work the way the Lord wants me to, but I think he likes us to be entertained on occasion. Why else would he have created dogs to chase their tails or babies to giggle over absolutely nothing?

That said, as I told the story, I found my characters learning a few things along the way. Situations aren’t always as they appear, for one, and we can be fooled or we can misjudge others if we don’t constantly seek God’s wisdom and guidance. And sometimes we can miss out on His blessings if we fail to see situations as He means us to.

Another thing I felt from the characters is how difficult it can be when a believer is drawn romantically to a nonbeliever. I’ve touched on the subject before, but in Beach Dreams, the nonbeliever is someone who feels almost real to me (and many readers) at this point. I feel a renewed empathy for Christians in these circumstances. Again, God’s guidance and strength are so important.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
TP: This isn’t definite yet, but there’s a chance I’ll write the next book in The Beach House series. If I do, it will involve an entirely new set of characters. They’re already in my head, bulking up for the adventure. I’m eager to hang out with them!

JA: You have a degree in Psychology. Have you found that helpful when it comes to writing fiction?
TP: Really helpful. With only a bachelors, I’m certainly not qualified to do anything but armchair analyzing, which is as proficient as armchair anything. But I’ve definitely been molded to look beneath the surface of one’s behaviors and choices. And I can often anticipate how a person’s behaviors or words might play upon another person over the years. So, my degree has been excellent training in character development.

JA: Is there something people would be surprised to know about you?
TP: Hmm. I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, how about that? It’s been several years since I’ve practiced the sport (or anything all that physically taxing, to be frank), but I used to know how to break a man’s neck with my bare hands. At least that’s what they told me—I never actually tried it. Honest.

JA: If money and time were non-issues, what’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
TP: I’d love to slowly travel Europe. If you’ve read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, you know the first third of her memoir involves her living in Italy, virtually eating her way through the country. I’d like to do that through all of Europe. Now, will you just take a look at the difference between this answer and the one directly above it? The difference between these two frames of mind is SO evident in my waistline. You said money and time were non-issues, and I guess I’d also like weight gain to also be a non-issue, as long as we’re fantasizing.

JA: Here, here! I hereby decree weight gain a non-issue! (If only it were that easy.) Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
TP: I’ll make a point of posting about such things on my blog, which is on the first page of my web site ( I love visitors! I’ve started interviewing other authors and hosting book giveaways each week, too.

Thanks for the interview, Jennifer! It’s been fun.

Thanks for spending some time with us, Trish. Now that I know about your Tae Kwon Do training, I’ll be sure not to sneak up on you in Minneapolis. May God continue to bless your writing journey!


With a title like Beach Dreams you’d expect this to be the perfect book to take with you for a day of lounging in the sun. And it is. But really, it’s perfect to read anytime. Full of wonderfully flawed, real characters, Beach Dreams is as satisfying as a hunk of watermelon on a scorching summer day… or a cup of cocoa during a snow storm.

One of my favorite things about this book is how the people relate to each other in completely believable ways. There’s a time-honored tradition in romantic fiction of using misunderstandings and miscommunication to keep the hero and heroine apart. Problem is, it’s used so often it usually comes off as an old and tired contrivance. Three cheers for Trish Perry for not taking the easy way out! Yes, a misunderstanding is what brings our eclectic cast of character together at the beach house, and it’s set up beautifully. But as the story progresses and opportunities for misunderstandings arise, the characters do something amazing; they talk to each other! Rather than jump to conclusions, they think things through. What a refreshing concept!

As for romantic male leads, you’d be hard pressed to find one more appealing than Jeremy Beckett. Suave, sweet and self-effacing, I found him sounding like Hugh Grant in my head, especially during a scene at a boardwalk amusement area.

If you’re looking for a fun love story with a strong moral center and a hunky leading man, check out Beach Dreams. You won’t be sorry!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Beach Dreams just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on August 4th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

Friday, July 25, 2008

CFBA Presents - PAINTED DRESSES by Patricia Hickman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Painted Dresses
(WaterBrook Press - July 15, 2008)
Patricia Hickman


Patricia Hickman is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, whose work has been praised by critics and readers alike.

Patricia Hickman began writing many years ago after an invitation to join a writer's critique group. It was headed up by best-selling author Dr. Gilbert Morris, a pioneer in Christian fiction who has written many best selling titles. The group eventually came to be called the "Nubbing Chits". All four members of the original "Chits" have gone on to become award-winning and best selling novelists (good fruit, Gil!).

Patty signed her first multi-book contract with Bethany House Publishers. After she wrote several novels "for the market", she assessed her writer's life and decided she would follow the leanings of her heart. She says, "It had to be God leading me into the next work which wound up being my first break-out book, Katrina's Wings. I had never read a southern mainstream novel, yet I knew that one lived in my head, begging to be brought out and developed." She wanted to create deeper stories that broke away from convention and formula. From her own journey in life, she created a world based upon her hometown in the 70's, including Earthly Vows and Whisper Town from the Millwood Hollow Series.

Patty and her husband, Randy, have planted two churches in North Carolina. Her husband pastors Family Christian Center, located in Huntersville. The Hickmans have three children, two on earth and one in heaven. Their daughter, Jessi, was involved in a fatal automobile accident in 2001. Through her writing and speaking, Patty seeks to offer help, hope and encouragement to those who walk the daily road of loss and grief.


In this story of sisterhood and unexpected paths, Gaylen Syler-Boatwright flees her unraveling marriage to take refuge in a mountain cottage owned by her deceased aunt. Burdened with looking after her adult sister, Delia, she is shocked to find a trail of family secrets hidden within her aunt’s odd collection of framed, painted dresses. With Delia, who attracts trouble as a daily occupation, Gaylen embarks on a road trip that throws the unlikely pair together on a journey to painful understanding and delightful revelations.

Steeped in Hickman’s trademark humor, her spare writing voice, and the bittersweet pathos of the South, Painted Dresses powerfully captures a woman’s desperate longing to uncover a hidden, broken life and discover the liberty of living authentically, even when the things exposed are shrouded in shame.

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

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Bang For Your Buck

Vince VaughnDid you know that Vince Vaughn gives the best return, dollar for dollar? That’s okay, neither did I.

According to a recent article by Forbes Magazine Vince Vaughn delivers the best bang for the movie studio’s buck, bringing in $14.73 of gross income for studios for every dollar he was paid. This has nothing to do with how great (or not) and actor he is. Rather, it’s due to his relatively low salary balanced by the surprise hits of modest budget movies like Wedding Crashers and The Breakup.

So who else is a good investment at the box office? Here are the top five:

  • Vince Vaughn - $14.73 (per dollar)
  • Toby Maguire - $13.44
  • Julia Roberts - $13.19
  • Brad Pitt - $12.73
  • Naomi Watts/Matt Damon (tied) - $12.16

    Kung Fu PandaThis got me thinking about how I choose to spend my money. When I decide to make the financial commitment of seeing a movie in the theater (I’m still amazed that the price of a matinee is $7.50) there are several factors that come into play, and one of them is trust. Can I depend on the actor, or studio, to deliver? For example, I have yet to be disappointed by Pixar, so I plan to see each of their new movies at the multi-plex. Their latest, WALL*E was wonderfully moving and entertaining. Money well spent. Another animated film that tickled me was Kung Fu Panda. When I first heard about it, I had my doubts. I mean, the title is pretty corny. But then I found out Jack Black voiced the titular panda. Okay, that got my attention. I enjoy Jack Black, but more importantly, I’ve come to trust that I know what to expect from a Jack Black performance. So off my son and I went to the theater where we laughed ourselves silly. Another great film.

    Of course there have been plenty times when my expectations were completely different than my movie-going experience. The most recent example of this is the film Wanted. This got my attention for a couple of reasons. First, I admire the acting chops of Morgan Freeman, James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie, all main characters. Second, the trailer was way cool. I thought here’s an action flick my hubby and I will both enjoy. Then we got to the theater. WAY different than either of us expected. In fact, we were about five minutes into the movie when my husband leaned over and said, “This is the longest trailer I’ve ever seen.” He didn’t even realize the movie had started! We did watch the whole thing, and there were some cool action sequences, but I felt let down by the whole experience. A few days later I found out it’s based on a comic book. That explained a lot.

    So how about you? Ever seen a movie or bought a book expecting one thing and getting something completely different? Are there certain actors who constantly deliver for you? Certain authors who you buy as soon as they have a new book out? Who gives you the most bang for your buck?

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    MAMMA MIA - Let Yourself Have Fun!

    Mamma Mia GroupYikes, I've been away from the blog for awhile! You know how summer is... trips to see family, things to do with the kids (or in my case, KID), and let's not forget summer movies.

    Over the weekend I saw one of the most hyped films of the summer, Mamma Mia! Based on the hit Broadway musical, which was written around the music of seventies super-group, ABBA. The theater was packed and I was surprised to see almost as many men as women. Maybe their wives/girlfriends drug them there. Or maybe they just wanted to see if James Bond could sing. Who knows? At any rate, this movie is kind of a bad news, good news proposition. Let's start with the bad news.

    Sorry, guys, James Bond can't sing. This isn't a big deal, because neither can most of the cast, but poor Pierce Brosnan is the least vocally proficient of the group. Okay, that's it for the bad news.

    The good news is that there's more good news than bad news! Mamma Mia! is a true, no-apologies musical, which means people break into song and dance down the street at will, picking up locals as they go. And this is the true joy of the movie. It doesn't matter that the vocal performances aren't up to typical musical theatre standards. If you stress over that kind of thing, this movie isn't for you. It's for anyone who ever danced around their bedroom, singing into a hairbrush. If you ever wished life came with a soundtrack, and people really could dare to break into song and dance in the middle of the street - and I know I've wished that - then this movie is for you.

    Mamma Mia PosterThis is one of those movies where you realize the cast probably had a ton of fun making it. Every one of them gamely takes on their character, committing to the ridiculousness of the situation. Remember Pierce Brosnan? The great thing about him is that you know he knows he can't sing... but that's okay. I will say, I found myself wishing he and Colin Firth could have switched characters. Firth, a loveable sad-sack who's proven quite good at comedy, has a surprisingly sweet singing voice, although he doesn't get to use it much. It would have been nice to hear more from him.

    Meryl Streep plays Donna in a manic, over-the-top fashion that would be completely unbelievable in any other venue. But this is a broad, let's-have-fun musical, so it works. When she and her pals, played by Julie Walters and Christine Baranski, run through the town singing Dancing Queen picking up Greek woman as though they are the Pied Piper and her Piperettes, it's a truly joyous moment. I dare anyone to watch that and not feel happy!

    The musical exception here is Amanda Seyfried who plays Sophie, the young woman who invites her three possible fathers to her wedding. She's got a very nice pop voice and delivers probably the most believable performance of the group, meaning she acts exactly like I'd expect a 20-year-old to act.

    If you're looking for a summer flick that's nothing but pure fun, check out Mamma Mia!

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    CFBA Presents - PROMISES, PROMISES by Amber Miller - WIN IT!

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Promises, Promises
    (Barbour - July, 2008)
    Amber Miller


    Hi, I'm Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. Writing had always been a hobby, a way for me to express my innermost thoughts and feelings in a way I sometimes find difficult with the spoken word -- although my friends will tell you 'shy' is not in my vocabulary. Thanks to the gentle nudging of a fellow author -- Tracie Peterson -- in 2002, I took the next step in my writing career and joined the American Christian Fiction Writers. I owe so many there a hearty hug of appreciation for their constant encouragement and unselfish assistance. I feel a lot more confident thanks to their support and love. For those of you who are also fiction writers looking for a wonderful support group, check them out!

    I got involved with web design in 1997, when I was asked to take over running the official web site for the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. That eventually led to a series of negotiations where I was offered the job of running world-renowned actress Jane Seymour's official fan site. That has branched into doing web sites for a variety of clients, including: authors J.M. Hochstetler, Trish Perry, Kathy Pride, Louise M. Gouge, Susan Page Davis, and Jill Elizabeth Nelson, actor William Shockley (the voice of AT&T and Sony) and many others. With the help of a handful of other web site "technos," Eagle Designs was born! Feel free to visit and see our other clients.

    Books are a definite passion. Why else would I be writing and publishing them? I firmly believe that a good book can take you away from all of your problems, into a world you've never seen. My favorite food is Italian; I sing all the time, and I once worked with my church choir to do a professional recording for a music CD of our performances.

    I am in my 30's, married the love of my life in July 2007, and live in beautiful Colorado, but I love to travel and visit new places. Ultimately, my dream is to own horses and live in a one-level rancher nestled in the mountains. For now, I will remain where I am and do what I love—design web sites and write.


    Raelene Strattford knows God has promised never to leave or forsake her. But after the catastrophic deaths of her parents, she doesn t believe it. What kind of God would take a girl's family and leave her alone in a wild land where women have no voice? Gustaf Hanssen has admired Raelene from afar for a while, but his poor attempt at courting her in the past has made him unwelcome in her life. When Gustaf promises Raelene's dying father that he will take care of her, he finds himself bound to her happiness, her success, and her well-being in ways he never imagined. To keep his word must Gustaf really oversee all of Raelene's affairs, find her a husband, and maintain her farm, while she does nothing but scorn him? Can God reach through Raelene's pain and self-centeredness and give her the love that awaits, if only she will accept His will?

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

    At this time,
    Promises, Promises
    can only be purchased through the
    Heartsong Book Club


    JA: Your debut novel is Promises, Promises from Heartsong Presents. Please tell us a bit about it.
    AM: It is the first in a 3-book series that will be repackaged in 2009 as “Delaware Brides.” I am covering the historical beginnings of the little, but significant state during the Colonial period. Here is a synopsis: Gustaf Rutledge, a gruff farmer, recently made a business-like proposal for the hand of the neighbor's daughter because he wanted the land. Stinging from Raelene Strattford's rejection, he plans to relocate. When he finds Raelene's parents injured in a wagon accident, he promises her father he'll take care of her. Seventeen-year-old Raelene makes a deathbed promise to her father to fulfill her parents' dream: to turn the untamed acreage into a successful farm. Circumstances force Gustaf and Raelene to work together, but pride and grief blind them to the plan God has for their lives. The savage land is not all that needs to be tamed. Will they find common ground at the foot of the cross, or will they lose it all, including a chance at love?
    The back cover copy, cover and brief excerpt is available on my web site.

    JA: Promises, Promises is your first book. What was the genesis of the story?
    AM: The ‘what if’ moment came when I tried to develop the story line for the first book. Without a lot of background, I had to rely on the elements I had learned would make a good story. Some excellent advice given to me included the method of taking your character to a point that seems hopeless…and making it worse. So, I asked, “What if a heroine with no siblings also loses her parents, then finds herself as the sole owner of land in a new world where women have no voice, feeling as if God has forsaken her?”

    And thus, Promises, Promises was born!

    JA: Raelene Strattford seems like quite a feisty character. What’s your favorite thing about her?
    AM: Despite her prickly exterior, she possesses a heart of gold. She wants to be accepted and find love, and she wants someone to love her in return, but she acts like a wounded animal for the first half of the book. The fact that she is also a fighter drew me to her as well. She might be down, but she’s not out. And Katie bar the door if anyone gets in her way. :+]

    JA: What do you hope people take away after reading Promises, Promises?
    AM: The primary theme is that no matter how bleak the circumstances, God will never abandon or forsake you. It goes along with the question that almost everyone asks. “Where’s God when I’m hurting?” Even when life throws all sorts of road blocks your way and it seems like you have nothing left, there will always be hope just down the road. You must keep looking forward and maintain your faith.

    JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
    AM: I just submitted my 4th book to my editor on July 15th, so I’m feeling pretty good about now. Next, I’ll work on polishing my 2 full-length historical novels to be submitted to 2 editors and 2 agents. I also have a contemporary full-length out with an editor under consideration. Then, in late August, I’ll start on my 5th contracted book, which is the 2nd in the current series of Michigan Brides. The 1st I just submitted.

    JA: Besides being a writer, you’re also a web designer. In your opinion, what’s the most important thing authors need to keep in mind when designing a site?
    AM: It’s never too soon to get a web site. If you’re serious about writing and pursuing this career, get online. Get connected. Network and get noticed by word of mouth. Once you have your site, make sure your navigation is clean and easy to follow. Don’t clutter your pages with unrelated material. Make each page count and contain content related to that page only. And remember, this site is your image to a world who might not know you. This could be your only chance to make a good first impression….or a bad one. If you don’t feel confident in being able to do it yourself, hire a professional.

    Obviously, I’d love it if you hired me. :+]

    JA: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
    AM: Hmm, I’ll give you two things. The first is that I share a birthday with my husband, only he was born 1 year later. So I ‘robbed the cradle’ so to speak. LOL!

    The second is that I’m related to a president of the United States through marriage. My great-grandfather’s sister married President Woodrow Wilson during his presidency. Her picture and story and information are featured at his home in Virginia. And when I visited there for the first time, I was rather surprised to find a physical resemblance between us.

    JA: Are there any books you can’t wait to get your hands on?
    AM: At the moment? It’d be one I already have and I can’t wait to delve into its pages. It’s The Edge of Recall by Kristen Heitzmann. But after that, it would be the next book in Tracie Peterson’s Ladies of Liberty series and her Broadmoor Legacy series. I have read and own every single one of Tracie’s and Kristen’s. They are at the top of my list.

    JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
    AM: You can always come visit my web site. I have a blog posted on the main page that is kept up to date several times a week, and you can subscribe to it receive email alerts when I make a post. That’s the best way to keep up with me and everything I’m doing or where I’m headed next.

    I always love to hear from visitors to my site and especially readers of my books or my writing in any form. Feel free to drop me a line through the contact form on my site. I respond within 48 hours unless I’m out of town and without an internet connection.

    Thank you, Jennifer, for hosting me today and featuring both my book and a spotlight on my career. It’s been a pleasure getting to ‘know’ you online, and I look forward to seeing our friendship grow. Be blessed!

    Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us. May God continue to bless your writing journey!


    It’s always exciting to read a book from a fresh new voice, and this book was particularly enjoyable. In Raelene and Gustaf, Miller has created two vulnerable souls, bound by the promises they’ve made. She does a masterful job at balancing painful circumstances with humor, and the pace never drags. Two thumbs way up for a grand debut! I look forward to the next book in the series, and many more for years to come.


    If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Promises, Promises just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on July 23rd. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

    Check out more interviews with Amber Miller and giveaways of Promises, Promises:

    Shirley Connolly (July month-long feature)

    July 7 - Margaret Daley - Bio
    July 7 - Dawn Kinzer at From Dawn til Dusk, Musings of a Night Owl
    July 8 - Donna Moore at Write by Faith
    July 8 - Kim Woodhouse at God's Grace, Love & Forgiveness
    July 9 - Margaret Daley -interview
    July 9 - Amy Riley at The Friendly Book Nook
    July 10 - Jenny Blake at Come Meet AusJenny
    July 11 - Rose McCauley
    July 11 - Shauna Sturge at The Coffee Stop; Long and Short Reviews
    July 12 - Carolyn Strawder at Quiet Time with Carolyn
    July 14-19 - CAN! blog spotlight
    July 14 - Martha Rogers at Martha Writes
    July 15 - Leslie Sowell at A Little Bit of Sunlight
    July 16 - Novel Journey / Novel Reviews
    July 16-18 - CFBA blog tour date (various blogs)
    July 17 - Eileen Astels at A Christian Romance Writer's Journey
    July 17 - Cheryl Wyatt at Squirrel's Treehouse
    July 18 - Cara Putman at Cara's Musings
    July 18 - Tyora Moody at CB Reviews
    July 19 - Stacy Johnson at Vader's Mom
    July 21 - Camy Tang at Camy's Loft
    July 21 - Trish Perry - interview
    July 22 - Cindy Woodsmall at the Plain Talk Blog
    July 23 - Delia Latham at The Melody Within -review/interview
    July 24 - Margaret Chind at Creative Madness
    July 25 - Delia Latham at The Melody Within -guest blogger
    July 25 - Christa Allan at Fictionary
    July 26 - Paula Moldenhauer at Grace Reign

    Monday, July 14, 2008

    Meet Tina Ann Forkner - Interview & Book Giveaway

    Tina Ann Forkner PhotoA big welcome to Tina Ann Forkner, author of the wonderfully compelling novel, Ruby Among Us. Let’s meet Tina!


    Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary fiction that focuses on the intricacies of family relationships. Originally from Oklahoma, she graduated from CSU Sacramento where she lived for five years before ultimately settling in Wyoming where she now lives with her husband and their three children. Tina stays busy serving on the Laramie County Library Foundation board of directors in her hometown and writes full-time!


    JA: Your debut novel is Ruby Among Us. Please tell us a bit about it.
    TAF: Here is a description: Set in the lush vineyards of present and past Sonoma Valley, Ruby Among Us weaves a story of three generations of women and the memory that binds their hearts together. Journey with Lucy as she searches for a heritage long-buried with her mother, Ruby, in this stirring tale of remembrance and redemption.

    JA: There’s a very strong thread of grace versus legalism in this book. Why was this particularly important to showcase?
    TAF: I didn’t plan to showcase it at first, but as the characters developed it became an integral theme to the plot. I truly believe we are under grace, but one aspect of Ruby Among Us is that the characters struggle with a crisis of faith because they see religion, especially Christianity, as a condemning institution.

    It is difficult for Kitty and Lucy to believe that God can extend grace without casting judgment and placing conditions on that grace. They can’t see how God would do that because they have had a negative experience with church and religion. Examples have shown that God doesn’t show mercy.

    In the biblical story of the prodigal son, the father doesn’t yell at his son and demand an explanation for his son’s mistakes. He takes his son back with no conditions. So why do we sometimes act as if God’s grace is only big enough to cover some sins and not all? Kitty thinks she falls into the category of sins that can’t be covered.

    TAF - Ruby Among UsJA: You do a wonderful job at exploring the complex relationship between mothers and daughters. What’s your favorite thing about the women you created in this story?
    TAF: Thank you. Lucy, Kitty, and Ruby really took on lives of their own and I am sad the book is over. There is so much more about them I wish the reader knew. One of the things I love about them is how the thread between the three of keeps tugging even when they are mad at each other or in disagreement. I like how that thread keeps them thinking of one another and how their shared memories and experiences influence their decisions over a lifetime.

    JA: What do you hope people take away after reading Ruby Among Us?
    TAF: I hope they get lost in the world of Lucy, Kitty, and Ruby and fill satisfied and hopeful after they have read it. The book is about grief and redemption. Those are things I hope readers will be able to relate to.

    JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
    TAF: I have written a second book that is a stand-alone, but is related to Ruby Among Us. It comes out in May of 2009.

    JA: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
    TAF: I love to garden. I don’t do it very well (I live in cool, dry, windy Wyoming), but I try. I also love to spend outdoors with my kids and husband.

    JA: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
    TAF: Most readers might be surprised that I’m a Daddy’s girl. I write mostly about relationships between women, but I am really a daddy’s girl at heart.

    JA: What authors inspire you?
    TAF: Elizabeth Berg, Mary E. DeMuth, Amy Tan, Lisa Samson, Francine Rivers, among many others.

    The writers who endorsed my book (you can see them on my blog) especially inspire me and I am so blessed they read my book.

    JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
    TAF: They can visit my website at and my blog at

    Thanks for having me!

    Thanks for stopping by, Tina. May God continue to bless your writing journey!


    If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Ruby Among Us just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on July 21st. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

    Tuesday, July 8, 2008

    CFBA Presents - THE EDGE OF RECALL by Kristen Heitzmann

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    The Edge Of Recall
    (Bethany House - July 1, 2008)
    Kristen Heitzmann


    Of her three main interests, art, music and writing, she chose to study English at the University of Colorado and thrived on Creative Writing and Literature classes. She married her husband Jim, and turned her energy to building a family. They have four children whom they have home schooled for all or most of their education. Kristen is a music minister with the ecumenical covenant community People of Praise.

    Once she realized the stories in her head were truly a calling from the Lord, she made writing not just a passion, but a ministry. She has written seven historical fiction novels as part of the The Rocky Mountain Legacy series, the Diamond of the Rockies series, and the Christy Award winner Secrets. Most recently, she has written several contemporary fiction novels, including Echoes, Freefall and Unforgotten.

    Kristen and her husband, Jim, and their family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she serves as worship leader in their church.


    Tessa Young, an up-and-coming landscape architect who specializes in the design and creation of labyrinths, has immersed herself in the mythological, spiritual, and healing aspects of the elaborate structures. She also is searching for God and hoping to make sense of the nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.

    When Smith Chandler, an estranged colleague--with whom she'd half fallen in love a dozen times before catching herself every time--calls to propose a project he claims is the opportunity of a lifetime, she reluctantly agrees to check it out. Smith is reconstructing a pre-Revolutionary War abbey for wealthy clients. Among its remarkable features is an overgrown labyrinth.

    Unable to resist, Tessa accepts his offer to work with him. Soon she is immersed in the project of a lifetime. But one evening, after weeks of work in the labyrinth, Tessa and Smith are attacked. While protecting Tessa, Smith is stabbed, and the nightmare begins...again.

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

    Sunday, July 6, 2008

    Seven Questions With Kimberly Stuart - WIN HER NEW BOOK!

    Kimberly Stuart PhotoTHE BIO

    Kimberly Stuart makes her home in Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, Marc, and their two children, Ana and Mitch. She began her writing career by journaling during her daughter’s first year of life. At the never-subtle urging of her mother, she entered the University of Iowa Alumni magazine’s annual nonfiction short story contest. After winning the contest, she attended the Blue Ridge Writer’s Conference in North Carolina, where she met some key players in the publishing world who were able to jumpstart her career. She is the author of Balancing Act and its sequel, Bottom Line. Stuart’s most recent novel, Act Two, released May 2008, and is the first of three titles to be published by David C. Cook. She continues to revel in God’s grace and counts among her treasures nap time, imported chocolate, and a good story. For more information about Kimberly, visit her website at


    Sadie Maddox loves New York. She’s the toast of the classical music world and the queen of all she surveys. Sadie is, in a word, a bit of a diva. But lately her CD sales are waning, not to mention parts of her anatomy.

    When her agent suggests she take on a professorship at a small liberal arts college, Sadie decides to give it a go. Except the college is in rural Iowa, and the closest thing to designer clothes is the western wear shop down on Main Street. Sadie’s colleagues are intimidated, her students aren’t impressed, and she has to live far too close to farm animals.

    Then Sadie meets Mac, a large animal veterinarian. She assumes they have nothing in common—he is, after all, a country music fan. Besides, she’s counting the days until she can end her exile from civilization. Er, New York. Yet when Sadie’s forced to spend some time with Mac, she finds she likes him. Her students, it seems, really need her, and this quiet Midwest community begins to grow on her.

    But when the semester ends, Sadie packs up and heads for the city that never sleeps…and finds she can’t either. Will she find the courage and grace she needs to embrace her Act Two?


    Where did you get the idea for Act Two?
    I can’t possibly reveal that to the blogosphere, and I say that only partly because I’ve always wanted to use the word blogosphere. The other reason is that this one percolated for awhile. There was no lightning bolt moment. But I will say that I’m always interested in putting quirky characters in situations that make them woefully uncomfortable and allow the reader to laugh with gusto both at and with the character. A New York opera diva on a farm seemed like a situation that might work for that purpose.

    What are the major themes of the book?
    Grace, redemption, my love and respect for both urban and rural dwellers, and the under-used gift of laughter.

    Kimberly Stuart - Act Two CoverWhat kind of research did you have to do?
    It was intense. Lots of dangerous, Indiana Jones-type adventures, plenty of nights under the stars and without food or running water. Actually, I traveled to New York and was shuttled around by dear friends who love their city and were infectious in their excitement. I loved my time there and still wish I could drop off my laundry for someone else to do, begging out of the chore because my building just didn’t have a washer and dryer. The laundry, the insane number of fantastic restaurants, the ability to wallow in theater, dance, live jazz, high fashion—if I could only afford half of a studio apartment, I’d drag my family for an extended stay. As for research on Iowa….

    Have you lived on a pig farm?
    I grew up in Iowa, though not exactly on a pig farm. Des Moines has roughly 400,000 residents, which would prove a challenge for group farming. But my roots are rural. All of my grandparents grew up on farms, as did many of our friends and neighbors. For Act Two, I relied heavily on dear friends who own a pig farm in northwestern Iowa. Anything I got right on this end is due to their diligence. Anything I goofed is my fault entirely. My husband will tell you I don’t always listen well.

    When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
    When I was a child, I wanted to be a “seener” (singer). Mostly, I wanted to be Amy Grant. That’s right, people: I was into STRAIGHT UP AMY GRANT. The hard stuff, the early years, like “My Father’s Eyes,” and “El Shaddai.” I rocked out (with choreography) in our basement, next to a record player roughly the size of an Escalade and was wholeheartedly convinced of my musical and entertaining genius. If only I could have met her at the right time, perhaps post-Gary, pre-Vince, we could have toured together! She totally could have used a back-up dancer/singer! In fact, if you’re reading this, Amy, I’m still available!

    What’s the most difficult part of the process for you?

    • Making myself sit down each day and crank out new material, especially on days when I’m feeling about as creative as a paint tarp.
    • Pushing through the middle of a novel, when the characters have lost their initial intrigue and it’d be so much more fun to daydream about the NEXT story to write.
    • Getting out of the way of the story. That is, allowing the story to flesh itself out without coercion on my part.
    • Being able to, as Stephen King writes, “crucify my darlings,” to part with the elements, characters, plot movements that do not serve the story, no matter how fond I am of them.

    Where are you headed next?
    God willing, I’ll be giving birth to our third child in August, so I’m afraid I won’t be heading anywhere too quickly. Lactation seems to preclude so many of life’s adventures…In addition to caring for our growing brood and being really snippy with my husband for a few months due to sleep deprivation, I have two more books to write with David C. Cook. Act Two is the first of three, and I must ask you humbly to buy it within the next four minutes as it is time-sensitive material. And it’s a pretty good summer read, if I must be so bold. After Act Two will come two more. This will make a grand total of five books so far from the pen of Kimberly Stuart. Don’t place any bets that I’ll try to have as many children as I do books. When it comes to babies, those in print are much kinder on a uterus.

    Download a sample of Act Two.


    Act Two was one of the most completely entertaining books I’ve read in a long time. Yes, it’s got a strong spiritual thread which is wonderfully moving, but it’s never heavy or preachy. It’s the perfect beach read. A New York diva finds herself transplanted to an Iowa pig farm in the middle of winter… really, could there be a better book to read at the beach?

    Stuart has outdone herself with the creation of opera singer Sadie Maddox. A forty-something career gal, she maintains her Big Apple bite while still coming across as a likeable person. The relationships that grow between her and the people she meets in Iowa, particularly one rugged veterinarian, are fun and heartwarming.

    If you’re looking for a book that will have you chuckling in your beach chair – or wherever it is you like to hangout during the summer – I highly recommend Act Two. As the subtitle says, it’s a Novel in Perfect Pitch!


    If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Act Two just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on July 14th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

    Saturday, July 5, 2008

    What's New In Christian Fiction - July 2008

    Here's a great selection for those lazy days of summer! Also, don't forget to check out Jill Eileen Smith's Spotlight Interview with author Mary DeMuth!.

    1. Beach Dreams, The Beach House Series Book 3 by Trish Perry from Harvest House. Tiffany gets away from it all at a California beach house; but a viper-like roommate, a handsome (unavailable) visitor, and uncovered secrets make her life no day at the beach.

    2. Calico Canyon, Lassoed in Texas Book #2 by Mary Connealy from Barbour Trade Fiction. A prissy school marm is forced into marriage to the father of her most unruly students.

    3. Fudge-Laced Felonies First book in the Summer Meadows series by Cynthia Hickey from Barbour Heartsong/Mysteries. Summer Meadows sets out to find the owner of a stash of diamonds and gain Ethan Banning's love.

    4. Maine Brides by Susan Page Davis from Barbour. Can faith bridge the road to love and bring three men who have been cast off by society to new lives alongside women who love them?

    5. Masked by Moonlight by Allie Pleiter from Steeple Hill Historicals. Nothing could tempt Matthew Waterhouse to reveal his secret identity, until the English gentleman met Georgia Waterhouse, whose pseudonymous newspaper accounts had made his daring "Black Bandit" exploits famous.

    6. Mission: Motherhood, Homecoming Heroes continuity series Book One by Marta Perry from Love Inspired. When Caitlyn Villard becomes the guardian of her twin five-year-old nieces, she's forced to return to Prairie Springs, Texas and the military community she'd run from, finding the man and the life of her dreams where she least expects.

    7. Seaside Cinderella by Anna Schmidt from Love Inspired Historical (Steeple Hill). Lucie McNeil's quiet life on Nantucket is a blessing for the tragedy-haunted Irish immigrant, but everything changes when her employers' handsome son steps ashore bringing her haunting past with him.

    8. Table for One by Georgiana Daniels from The Wild Rose Press. In a town where the ratio of single Christian women to men is 7:1, blundering stockbroker Lucy Brocklehurst searches for love through a series of misadventures.

    9. The Molech Prophecy by Thomas Phillips from Whitaker House. When Tommy finally surrendered his life to Christ, leaving the world of crime behind him, he never expected the pastor of his church to force him back into his old ways.

    10. The Prince Charming List Book Three of the "Prichett" Series by Kathryn Springer from Steeple Hill Cafe. Heather Lowell comes to Prichett to manage the Cut and Curl for the summer and discovers that life in a small town holds some BIG surprises!

    11. The Power of Love/The Courage to Dream Love Inspired Classic (Two novels in one) by Margaret Daley from Love Inspired Steeple Hill. The Power of Love: Can Police Chief Gabriel Stone help Rebecca Michaels with her troubled son and special needs baby enough to guide her back to the Lord and find hope for the future? The Courage to Dream: Returning to her Southern roots is a bitter journey for Rachel Peters, but old flame Michael Hunter is determined to reunite her with the faith and love she left behind.

    Happy reading ~

    Friday, July 4, 2008

    CFBA Presents - LOVE STARTS WITH ELLE by Rachel Hauck

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Love Starts With Elle
    (Thomas Nelson - July 8, 2008)
    Rachel Hauck


    Rachel Hauck is a forty-something, a child of the '60's, '70's, '80's, '90's and '00's, who roller skated through the '70's into the '80's with Farrah Fawcet hair and a three-speed orange Camero. She graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism.

    After graduation, she hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. But, she's traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine.

    Rachel met Tony, her husband, in '87, at church, of all places. They married in '92. They don't have any children of their own, just lots of kids-in-the-Lord and they love them all. However, they do have two very spoiled dogs, and a very demanding cat.

    With a little help from her friends, her first book was published in '04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. Her current release is Sweet Caroline from Thomas Nelson. Romantic Times Book Club gave both books their highest rank of 4.5 stars, with Love Starts With Elle being honored as Top Pick!


    Elle's living the dream-but is it her dream or his?

    Elle loves life in Beaufort, South Carolina-lazy summer days on the sand bar, coastal bonfires, and dinners with friends sharing a lifetime of memories. And she's found her niche as the owner of a successful art gallery too. Life is good.

    Then the dynamic pastor of her small town church sweeps her off her feet. She's never known a man like Jeremiah-one who breathes in confidence and exhales all doubt. When he proposes in the setting sunlight, Elle hands him her heart on a silver platter.

    But Jeremiah's just accepted a large pastorate in a different state. If she's serious about their relationship, Elle will take "the call," too, leaving behind the people and place she loves so dearly. Elle's friendship with her new tenant, widower Heath McCord, and his young daughter make things even more complicated.

    Is love transferrable across the miles? And can you take it with you when you go?

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


    Elle Garvey thought the pieces of her life were falling into place, then it looks like they're falling apart. But is her life really the shambles she thinks it is? What do you do when God's plan for your life isn't what you thought it was? I've been struggling with that question myself, so this book really struck a cord with me.

    Rachel Hauck has a knack for addressing spiritual truths in a non-threatening, non-preachy way. Elle is Christian girl who believes she's trusting God, until she realizes that things aren't going the way she plans. Then the control freak in her comes out. Elle's interactions with her pastor-fiancé Jeremiah, her widowed neighbor Heath, her troubled sister Julianne, and the Lord Himself are sometimes touching, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, but always honest.

    While Love Starts With Elle can be read on its own, I highly recommend reading Sweet Caroline first. Not only will you enjoy meeting Elle for the first time, but you won't ruin the surprises that face Caroline as she is torn between two loves. There's lots of great summer reading here for you!


    Gee, this is the third time I've been able to offer a choice. Looks like a trend! Just reply to this blog by July 11th. I'll choose a winner at random and let him or her choose either Sweet Caroline or Love Starts With Elle. Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

    Thursday, July 3, 2008

    A Grand Night Out - Spamalot!

    Spamalot Title
    There are some definite advantages to living in Las Vegas. 2-for-1 coupons is a biggee. They're pretty easy to come by if you want a buffet, but every now and then the locals get a really special deal... like 2-for-1 tickets to Spamalot.

    Spamalot, which has been running at the Wynn Resort since March 2007, ends its Vegas run on July 13th. I'd been wanting to see this show, but if you've priced Vegas show tickets lately, you know it's not like it was in the old days. Tickets for big-name shows can start at $100, and those are the cheap seats! Spamalot is actually one of the more "affordable" shows, with tickets starting at $69. Now, $140 plus tax (for two tickets) is more than I want to pay to see anything. But when they're 2-for-1, it's a downright bargain. It ended up being about $40 each, which is great for a live show. And what a show it was!

    I must admit, I was lukewarm about Monty Python and the Holy Grail (the motion picture from which Spamalot was lovingly ripped off). But this musical was so much better! Granted, it still retains a PG-13 rating, in my opinion, but it was full of wonderful surprises. In their quest for the grail, Arthur and his crew poke fun at pop culture and musical theatre in general.

    My son, Billy, will be fifteen this month. He's always loved knights and in the last few years has developed quite an appreciation for musical theatre. Put the two together, and the boy was in heaven! When it was over, we went straight to the Shopalot store and picked up the original Broadway soundtrack (which was also half-off). We listened to it all the way home and it has been on practically non-stop ever since. I'm really glad we like a lot of the same things!

    Spamalot Arthur
    As for the cast, they were all stellar. John O'Hurley was born to play this role. As Arthur, he conveyed the perfect mix of regal obtuseness required by the role. But the real scene stealer here was Erica Ash as The Lady of the Lake. An incredible performer with a great voice, she also gets some of the best songs, like The Song That Goes Like This and The Diva's Lament.

    Spamalot may be heading out of Vegas, but it's still on Broadway, and I'm sure it will be popping up here and there across the country. So, if you get a chance to see it, and you're not offended by Monty Python style humor, do yourself a favor and go. You'll laugh yourself silly.