Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CFBA Presents CHASING LILACS by Carla Stewart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Chasing Lilacs
(FaithWords - June 17, 2010)
Carla Stewart


Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She believes in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She's a country girl living now in a mid-sized city with her engineering husband who just happens to be her best friend and biggest fan.She and her husband have four adult sons and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren.

Chasing Lilacs is her first book.


I grew up in the Texas Panhandle with two younger sisters and loving parents. Small town school. Great neighbors. Today, those small-town, fundamental things resonate within me -- the twang in people's voices, the art of being neighborly and just being a decent human being.

Growing up, I preferred the company of books over TV and playing outdoors. I imagined myself in many different careers, but given my down-to-earth raising, I settled on nursing. I didn't faint at the sight of blood and did well in science, so it seemed a natural choice.

I worked as a registered nurse off and on through the years, but primarily I stayed home with my four rambunctious boys and dreamed of the day when I could write the novels I loved to read. When our youngest son was in high school, I quit my job as a nursing instructor and settled in to pen my first novel. It's been quite a journey. One I wouldn't trade for anything.

I'm committed to writing the stories of my heart and am truly thankful to Jesus, my Savior, for allowing me this freedom. May all the glory be His.


It is the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for twelve-year-old Sammie Tucker. Sammie has plenty of questions about her mother's "nerve" problems. About shock treatments. About whether her mother loves her.

As her life careens out of control, Sammie has to choose who to trust with her deepest fears: Her best friend who has an opinion about everything, the mysterious kid from California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on. Then there's the elderly widower who seems nice but has his own dark past.

Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Chasing Lilacs, go HERE.


I've had the pleasure of getting to know Carla Stewart over the last few years and I consider her a friend. Well, it's always hard when you review a book written by a friend. You want it to be good, but you worry... what if it's not? Thank heavens, I had nothing to worry about with this stunning debut novel.

Stewart has written a book so honest and authentic, it makes you feel like you know the characters inhabiting it. Sammie Tucker is a heartbreaker, because you want only the best for her. In the classic style of coming-of-age stories, Sammie's life isn't easy. But her journey is rich and true, and one well worth traveling with her.


carla stewart said...

Thank you, Jen, for the lovely review. And so true about reading books written by friends. We all want the best for people we know. I so appreciate your take on the story and am glad you connected with it. And I'm doubly glad that we are friends. Blessings!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Carla, it was my pleasure. I'm so happy for you and for the great response your book is getting. I can't wait to read whatever you've got next! Blessings to you, sweet lady :+}

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