Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I don't know when I'll be able to get back to regular blogging until after the new year, with my 2008 goals/resolutions/whateveryawannacallem for my writing life.

Remember the reason for the season, and may God continue to bless us, every one.

Friday, December 21, 2007

FALL into Reading



Get Ready, Get Set, Let's READ!!!
Katrina at Callapidder Days has a Mr. Linky ready to go if you're interested in signing up for this reading challenge! Click on the adorable graphic to the left for "the rules," and click here to sign up.

AND...there are going to be prizes! I will consider it a fall cleaning of sorts...cleaning out the TBR pile that threatens to take over my living room. Plus, finishing books helps clear the mind clutter. Enjoy the crisp fall weather, because especially here in North Dakota, it won't be long before fall turns into a snowy, below-freezing winter.


The Friday Night Knitting Club - Kate Jacobs Finished 10-28-07
Knitting Under the Influence - Claire LeZabnik - Finished 9-27-07
Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore (finish)
The Begotten and The Betrayed - Lisa Tawn Bergren (review)
The Tenth Circle - Jodi Picoult (also a Reading the Author challenge book)
Sacred Marriage - Gary Thomas (reading with a group of gals from W@H)


WRAP-UP:

WELL. As you can see, I did not even finish half my list! I have decided that I cannot do too many challenges anymore. Plus, I went back to work outside the home, and like I told my husband, "This job really cuts into my reading time!" Internet and writing time as well.

Regardless, I do intend to finish these books at some point, but obviously not by the end of this challenge! So, I have to consider this challenge incomplete.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Winter Reading Challenge


1. Debbie Macomber: Christmas Letters
2. Kristin Billerbeck: Split Ends
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: J.K. Rowling
4. Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince: J.K. Rowling

List may change as needed.

Added: 5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: J.K. Rowling

HEY! I finished this challenge!!!

1. Debbie Macomber's book was typical Debbie Macomber: sweet romance.

2. Kristin Billerbeck's latest was MUCH BETTER in my opinion than the book previous to this one, which I did not like too well. This one was closer to her Ashley Stockingdale series, which is really great and being rereleased with cute new covers.

3. 4. and 5. all the Harry Potters...I even finished books 6 and 7. They are a terrific series, very engrossing and difficult to put down. The characters really stay with the reader. It's easy to see what all the hoopla was about, honestly. I'm glad I waited to read the series after all of them were published, so I could just read them all in order without having to wait.

Friday, December 07, 2007

SHADOW OF TREASON

You know, going back to work has really thrown me for a loop...I completely sidetracked myself and neglected to get this done!

My writing hero, Tricia Goyer, has written a fascinating story about the Spanish Civil War, an often-overlooked period of our world's history.

Book 2 is entitled A SHADOW OF TREASON.

Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series
Sophie discovers that nothing is as she first imagined. When Walt, the reporter who helped her over the border, shows up again after Guernica is bombed, Sophie is given an impossible mission. She must leave behind the man she's fallen in love with and return to the person who betrayed her. Another layer of the war in Spain is revealed as Sophie is drawn into the international espionage schemes that could turn the tide of the war and help protect the soldiers from the International Brigade ... she must find a way to get a critical piece of information to Walt in time.

Here is an interview with Tricia:

Q: A Shadow of Treason follows A Valley of Betrayal. This is the first time you've written books as a series instead of stand alone. Which way do you like better?

A: I love writing in series. It was great to continue with the same characters. In my stand-alone books I fell in love with these people and then I had to say good-bye after one book. It was wonderful to be able to continue on.

Q: In A Shadow of Treason Sophie must return to the person who betrayed her in an effort to help the Spanish people. It makes the book hard to put down because the reader has to know how Sophie's heart will deal with it. Why did you decide to make this an element of the book?

A: There are very few of us who go through life without giving away a part of our hearts to someone who didn't deserve it. Even though Sophie had the best intentions, she gave away her heart and she was hurt-not only that she must revisit those emotions.

I wanted to include this element-to delve into the topic that emotions are sometimes as big of a trap as any physical cage. Emotions are real and they guide us -- even when we don't want to admit it. Poor Sophie, not only does she have to deal with a war around her -- she also has to deal with a war within herself. It's something I've battled, and mostly likely others have too.

Q: There is an interesting element that arises in this book and that is Spanish gold. I know you can't tell us what happens in this book, but can you give us a brief history of this gold?

A: Sure. When I was researching I came upon something interesting. The Spaniards, as we know, had taken much Aztec and Inca gold during the time of the conquistadors. Well, at the start of The Spanish Civil War much of this gold was still held in Madrid. In fact Spain had the fourth largest gold reserves in the world at that time. The Republican government was afraid Franco would take the city and the gold. They had to get it out of Madrid and this included transporting priceless artifacts. The element of gold does make its way into my story. It was great to include this little-known (and true!) element into my story.

Q: Another historical fact I learned about was the Nazi involvement during this time. Not only were the Germans active in Spain, but they had spy networks busy around the world. How did you find out about this?

A: I love reading tons of research books. Usually I find one little element that I dig out and turn into a plot line. This is what happened with my plot-line for the Nazi pilot, Ritter. I dug up this bit of research of Nazi involvement in Spain -- and the United States -- because a lot of people aren't aware of the Nazi involvement prior to WWII. The truth is they were busy at work getting the land, information, and resources they needed far before they threatened the nations around them. The Germans knew what they wanted and how to get it. And most of the time they succeeded!

Q: A Shadow of Treason is Book Two. When will Book Three be out? Can you give us a hint of how the story continues?

A: Book Three is A Whisper of Freedom. It will be out February 2008. The characters that we love are all still in the midst of danger at the end of Book Two. Book Three continues their stories as we follow their journeys in -- and (for a few) out -- of Spain. It's an exciting conclusion to the series!

Q: Wow, so we have a least one more fiction book to look forward to in the near future. Are you working on any non-fiction?

A: Yes, I have two non-fiction books that will be out the early part of 2008. Generation NeXt Marriage is a marriage book for today's couples. It talks about our marriage role models, our struggles, and what we're doing right as a generation. It also gives advice for holding it together.

I've also been privileged to work on the teen edition of Max Lucado's book 3:16. It was a great project to work on. What an honor!


Important Links:

First Chapter of A SHADOW OF TREASON:
Buy the book here:


Note from Pattie: When I settle down more into my routine, I will be posting my review of this excellent book. Check back in a few days!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Jewish Literature Challenge







Well, Shalom! I'm gonna get down with my bad Baptist self and join a Jewish Lit challenge!

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. (also a Something About Me challenge book)
The Hidden Life of Otto Frank by Carol Ann Lee (Dad gave me his copy)
How Nancy Drew Saved My Life by Lauren Baratz-Logsyed Review here
Hold the Cream Cheese, Kill the Lox by Sharon Kahn (I have this book)
Suite française by Irène Némirovsky (I think I have this book somewhere)

Alternate selections (in case I can't finish the above books, or decide differently):

The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak (will have to find this one)
The Hiding Place by Corrie tenBoom

All We Ever Wanted: A Review

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin My rating: 5 of 5 stars All We Ever Wanted is worthy of the buzz it's receiving this summer. I h...